Friday, February 08, 2008

Sgt. John Carl Osmolski

Sgt. John Carl Osmolski
82nd Airborne
October 19, 1984 - February 5, 2008

Nick's best friend since early childhood was killed early Wednesday morning serving our country in Iraq. Please keep John's family in your prayers, as well as Nick and his family who considered John to be a brother and son.

He was scheduled to come home next week and Nick was waiting till then to ask him to be his best man at our wedding. Words can't describe our grief. We will never forget John, he was a hero and one of the best men I have ever met.

We'll be traveling up to DC to Arlington National Cemetary next Friday for the funeral.

This is an article published in his hometown paper in Eustis, FL.

Sgt. John C. Osmolski, 23, Eustis, was searching a house when a homemade bomb exploded in Iraq.

Helen Eckinger Sentinel Staff Writer
February 8, 2008

After 15 months in Iraq, U.S. Army Sgt. John C. Osmolski was ready to come home. The date was set: This coming Wednesday, Osmolski would be back in Eustis, playing with his nephew John Micheal and tinkering with his Jeep with his brother Daniel.

He never made it home.

On Tuesday, Osmolski, 23, was searching a house in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad, when a homemade bomb exploded. He and two other soldiers died of injuries from the blast."He was just doing his job," Daniel Osmolski said Thursday as he sat with his wife, Heather, in his living room in Eustis.

"His goal was always to go into the Army and serve his country." Osmolski grew up in Eustis, where he lived until he left for boot camp in January 2005. He attended Circle Christian School in Orlando, where he was a forward on the soccer team. As a teenager, he was active in the youth groups at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Eustis and at nearby Bay Street Baptist Church. David Kelly, the youth director at New Hope, went on several mission trips with Osmolski and his twin sister, Julia, to Peru, where the church ran a ministry for street children. Kelly said Osmolski was "like a big brother to the children." John was passionate about whatever he did, and he poured his whole heart into those children," Kelly said. "He didn't let any of that bother him, the fact that they were dirty or poor. He just opened up his arms and let them come to him."

A childhood dream
Osmolski had wanted to join the military ever since he was a kid playing with G.I. Joe dolls, his brother said. He thought he would attend college first, and after he graduated from high school, he spent a couple of semesters at Valencia Community College. Then he got impatient."He got tired of waiting — that's why he enlisted," Daniel Osmolski said.Osmolski became a combat engineer and was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C. He spent six months in Afghanistan in 2005 and was deployed to Iraq at the end of 2006. "He did have a rough time, but he still believed in what he was doing," Daniel Osmolski said. "He always said, 'I'm doing great things over here.'"

Osmolski was scheduled to be discharged in May, and he did not plan to re-enlist. He wanted to start a family and finish college, and he had told his brother that he was toying with the idea of working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the agency that rounds up illegal immigrants.

He planned to take the summer off and spend time with his family, work on his car and play with the dog named Ophelia that he had brought home on a whim as a teenager." He and I went to buy a truck one day, and he came home with a dog," Daniel Osmolski said. "Mom was not happy that night."

Osmolski's MySpace page, which his girlfriend, Lindsey Cruz, is maintaining in the wake of his death, lists Metallica as one of his favorite bands, and Jesus Christ as his personal hero. The page is listed under Osmolski's nickname, Squirrell, which Daniel Osmolski said his brother's friends have been calling him since he was a teenager.

Today, Daniel, Heather and John Micheal Osmolski will travel to Virginia, where John Osmolski's mother, R. Eileen Osmolski, and sisters, Ruth Janna Wheat and Julia Osmolski, live outside of Richmond. The soldier's father died when he and his siblings were children.

Close to his family
Daniel Osmolski said John Osmolski was extraordinarily close to his family, especially with his twin sister, Julia, who was born a minute after him."The joke was always that she kicked him out," he said. "They did everything together."

Daniel Osmolski said John Osmolski was considered the clown of the family. He remembered his wedding, when John was the best man. Rather than make a toast, John gave Daniel a pair of boots that he dubbed "man-of-the-house boots." One boot had "Man of the" embroidered on it. The other said "House.""He was always doing what he could to make others laugh," Daniel Osmolski said. "He brought joy to all of us when he was around."

Osmolski's family plans to bury him at Arlington National Cemetery later this month. They also want to have a memorial ceremony in Eustis, although they haven't settled on a date.Daniel Osmolski said his brother often warned his family that he might die in Iraq. But John Osmolski's Christian faith helped him make peace with that possibility."Someone's got to do it," he told his brother. "And who would be better than someone who knows where their eternity lies?""That was John," Daniel Osmolski said. "Trying to comfort us."

Helen Eckinger can be reached at or 352-742-5934.
More articles
Copyright © 2008, Orlando Sentinel

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2 AM at Baptist Hospital, 1333 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

late night musings from Ragamuffin Gospel...

"Put bluntly: the American Church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works - but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived."

"Our huffing and puffing to impress God, our scrambling for brownie points, our thrashing about trying to fix ourselves while hiding our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat denial of the gospel of grace.
Our approach to the Christian life is as absurd as the enthusiastic young man who had just received his plumber's license and was taken to see Niagara Falls. He studied it for a minute and then said, 'I think I can fix this.'"

Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel

"It is by grace you have been saved through faith, not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything you have done so that nobobdy can claim the credit"

Ephesians 2:8-9

"The Lord said, 'My grace is enough for you; my power is at its best in weakness.' So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me."

2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

sparkley sparkley sparkley!

for those who don't yet know (or can't guess) i'm engaged to Nicholas Lomma! yeaaa!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ah HA! i figured out how to post it.

please enjoy.

just in case you ever want to know what i do all day long.
it's pretty interesting. i challange you to watch.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

two of my closest and best friends got married last weekend and it was beautiful! i've never seen two happier people.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

my new apartment!!

Welcome to my new apartment! Home of Katie Sollenberger, Becky Stetson, and MOI!
this is what my friend Michael calls the "romance shelf" :-) my roommate Katie and her boyfriend Austin, me and Nick, and my other roommate Becky and her boyfriend Matt!

Nick playing guitar...

Katie's and my bedroom!

the kitchen!

our entertainment center of sorts... basically just three shelves courtesy of Wally-World.

our awesome charity shop couch!

the dining room, complete with painting by Katie Sollenberger!

and that, ladies and gentlemen, completes your tour of my apartment. come visit whenever youre in Charleston.

Friday, August 10, 2007


it's hot. wicked hot. you know it's hot when it's 89 degress at 11pm (when i go into work) and 89 degrees at 7am (when i get off work) and it only climbs up from there. we hit 102 yesterday. heat index of 110. EEUUGGGHHH.

had the sweetest patients last night... this one precious little lady had her husband with her all night and he called her "baby" and "honey bee." i hope i'm still sweet on my spouce when we're 86.

moving to school in two days!! yeaa!! only one more night shift and then it's off to the mind-numbing months of school that will make me appreciate summer work again.

happy 21st birthday to Rob McAlister who i saw last night... we shared funny "Rob moments." take a moment and think of your favorite Rob moment, and laugh. it'll do you good. (Janice, i love you, and i know you're laughing!)

hope everyone has a wonderful August 10th. and for those south of the mason-dixon line, don't get heat-stroke.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

nursing humor


Thursday, July 19, 2007

snip snip snip

nooooooo more hairs!!! ha! i love it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Real gold fears no fire.

My new roommate, fellow nursing student and dear friend: Becky Stetson. She's 5'3", ADD, constantly singing, can NEVER sit still, loves Jesus, and is generally the life of the party.

And a HUGE encouragment and challange to me.

Her dad died on June 2nd of this year after a long hard battle with terminal cancer. Mr. Doug was an amazing godly man and an excellent father and treated me, like most of the other kids who practically lived at his house, like his own children.

The truth that Doug Stetson taught me is that great trials really do show true faith to be the gold that fire refines. Becky, her mom, and Mr. Doug never once said, "Why me? Why us?" but constantly used every opportunity to give the reason for the Hope that they had. Several hospitals across the country had entire floors with staff and doctors who heard the gospel from a man who was in excruciating pain for the last year of his life. And as a testimony to the life he lived, over 500 people were at his funeral, and they stopped counting after that because there was standing room only.

Becky has been so strong, not that it didn't affect her, but she is confident that God's purpose had been accomplished for her dad. I can't imagine losing my daddy. And being able to praise God through it.

Anyway... thought I'd share my thoughts on a family that really lived out their faith for everyone to see. Well the beach and Becky were *WONDERFUL* but I didn't sleep at all because I'm really not used to sleeping at night... go figure. So I'm going to go home and go to sleeeeeeeeepppppppp...

Friday, July 13, 2007

i'm tired.

brain tired. spirit tired. all over tired.

but! i have this weekend off (who knew!!) and i am going to *try* to revert from my nocturnal schedule and actually join the rest of the daytime world and drive down to hilton head (stopping briefly to see Nicholas in Charleston) and spend the weekend with my soon-to-be roommate and dearest nursing friend, Becky Stetson! yeaa!! just what the doctor ordered. a VERY silly, very SHORT, but very wonderful friend. i am excited. 2 whole days at the #1 SC tourist destination. yummy.

yeeeeaaaaa BEACH!

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I found some English breakfast tea bags in the nurses' lounge and so rather than my usually crappy hospital coffee, I made tea tonight. We even had some milk to put in it. And do you know what?

It tasted just like the tea served a certain old English manor in Carnforth, Lancashire. LA6 1AG.
I had a patient tonight who was only 20. He was really nice. We talked about school and books we had read and places we had been. He told me he used to want to work in a hospital and asked me what made me want to be a nurse. I really liked talking to him, nice break from the usual slightly senile patients who talk about things that happened 50 years ago. But this guy was really nice. And my age!

And he had AIDS.

I know that having AIDS isn't nearly what it used to be, but still. But even with today's technology, the prognosis isn't too great. It kinda shook me up. I didn't even find out until my shift was almost over when his nurse was reviewing his chart with me. She mentioned it as an afterthought, "Oh yeah, and his cultures came back HIV positive." As if that wasn't an important detail in a 20-year-old patient's chart. He never mentioned it and I don't know if he was aware of his diagnosis before this hospital visit or not. But it made me sad. Diseases that kill the young make me sad. Especially ones with no cure.

It also made me think... would I have treated him any differently if I had known he had AIDS earlier? I'd like to think that it wouldn't have made any difference. But it might have made me more apprehensive. I'm not one to panic and double-glove, but would my attitude towards him have changed? AIDS is still one of the biggest threats to the healthcare world. That, and Hepatitis B. We watched HOURS of vidoes in nursing school about how to handle sharps, and how to dispose of needles, and how NEVER to re-cap your needles, and how to report needle-sticks if you do get one, and what drugs you will immediately be put on, and what chance you have of contracting AIDS, even with only one stick. And all that rushed through my mind when I heard that my patient had AIDS. Even though all I did was take his blood pressure and empty his urinal, everything ran through my head. No wonder he didn't tell me about his diagnosis. I'm sure he's seen enough bad reactions.

Well... that's my thought for the night.

On a brighter note, I was told tonight that I reminded someone of Jackie Kennedy. Ha! Who knew?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

infections, antibiotics, and other joys.

So I finally got a weekend off (yea!!) and then, WHAMMY! sinus and ear infection.
So I got a $95 (ouch!) prescription filled for an antibiotic and prescription strength pseudophed (which is so strong it makes me light-headed and a wee bit loopy - not good, I assure you).

this will have to be continued... I have to go walk a patient before the doctor gets here!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mind, body, and soul...

I hate Alzheimer's.
It breaks my heart to care for a patient who's decaying body has begun to limit the mind and imprison the soul.
Which leads me to my question:
At what point can the soul no longer communicate?
The body still functions with the intake of food, water, air, and pharmacological interventions. The mind still demands certain things, comfort, attention, and communication. But the soul somehow has lost it's voice. So the mind reverts back to it's last memory, be that three years ago with the birth of a great-granddaughter, or 1913 when Woodrow Wilson was elected. And then it gets frustrating by reverting further back to the tantrums and mischief of a three year old. But either way, the soul is lost. That person is lost.
Or is it? Does the soul understand what the mind and body cannot? What a horrible prison. In moments of lucidity, when patients seem really connected with reality for a brief moment, their eyes light up. Sometimes you can actually see it. But the moments are so brief. I always feel the desire to seize it and ask them something important. What have you seen in your life? What wisdom have you learned? Was it all worth it? What about now? What about later? Where do you stand before God? But it only lasts a moment and the bright glance from their eyes fades back into the dull glazed-over confusion where they think I'm their daughter and why won't I bring them some brandy on the porch? Or worse, they think I'm trying to hurt them and they rip out their IVs (blood goes everywhere) and start crying for help. It makes me feel so helpless.
How can I be expected to "nurse" a body whose mind is hopelessly confused and their soul is trapped. When we first learned about the theory of "Holistic Nursing," philosophers of the medical world speculated on the benefit of treating both the mind, body, and "spirit". But of course, they don't mean the soul because they believe that the intricate and fearfully and wonderfully made human body is merely a mistake of chance that eventually evolved, sans Creator. So we treat the mind. And that is why (apart from a knowledge of Imago Dei and the true existence of a soul able to communicate with God beyond the confines of body and mind) Alzheimer's is the absolute worst way to die. If the only unique quality of a human is its ability to reason (existence of mind) then the disease that destroys the mind leaves its victim reduced to an animal-like state.
There's a reason to consider Deism. Avoids a really depressing death.
If there is a soul, then Alzheimer's, while devastating to those still on earth, isn't so bad. It's merely a temporary delay of earthly communication between created and Creator. And death removes that problem.
If there is no soul, then Alzheimer's is the vacuum that consumes the last moments of life, which is all there is. And death makes the silence permanent.