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In loving Memory of Jordan Ross Monen, 17

My youngest son, Jordan Ross Monen, 17, was killed at his summer farm job at Loren and Jeff Groeneweg, DBA JL Cattle at Inwood, IA., at about 2:00 pm on Wed., July 20, 2011. Jordan was lifted in a payloader bucket by Jeff's 87 year old grandfather, Simon Groeneweg, to clean a sliding door railing of a cattle shed. When Simon wanted to move the payloader, he was unable to release the emergency brake and he apparently had the tractor in gear. Another employee told him how to release the brake but as he released it, the loader lunged forward, crushing Jordan's head against the header of the shed. It appears that Simon stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake and Jordan was thrown from the bucket onto the cattle shed floor. We think the initial impact killed Jordan immediately.

My 24 year old son, Adam, was also working for JL Cattle but was in a different area of the farm. His boss hollered at him and he ran to the scene and tried to lift Jordan out of the pool of blood as he called out to him to "wake up, Jordy, come on, get up", but it was too late to say goodbye. At 2:05 Adam called me and when I noticed it was him, I answered the phone with a cheery, "hi honey" but it was clear that something was very wrong by the anquish in his voice. We all rushed to the farm and frantically followed the ambulance to the hospital. Jordan was sooo broken!!  We have stumbled thru these past 6 months, haunted by the images in our minds and struggling with the loss of our vibrant, fun loving Jordan. He would have been a senior at West Lyon high school this fall and he was so excited to finally be the TOP DOG. For his junior prom he wanted to have a white tux but since it was higher priced I said , "Let's get that next year". Thankfully, I have few regrets with that kid. He knew my love was unconditional and even though he got in his fair share of trouble, he could always make me laugh. I loved his free spirit, his desire to experience everything NOW, and his "don't hestiate" attitude. He was passionate about the things he enjoyed. His love of life was contagious and he had an infectious laugh--we will miss that for a very, very long time.

 His entire class were honorary pallbearers at his funeral and our church was packed with many mourners standing. It was a beautiful service with the high school principal and his church youth group leaders sharing some pretty funny stories. About a year before his death he had gone thru a confirmation class with our pastor and was given an assignment to write a testimony. He thought he had nothing special to say since he had always been in the church and there was no earth-moving moment for him. But he talked about one of his brothers friends having been killed in a car accident and how he felt seeing his brothers and his dad cry. He said he wanted to be SURE of where he would go if something happened to him. He said that with the help of his family and the church he wanted to "keep his eyes on the finish line". Of the 6 kids that joined church that day, he was the only one that gave his testimony to the congregation and it was powerful. The pastor read his testimony again at his funeral. Don't get me wrong, Jordan was NO angel!! He used more then his fair share of grace but I've found comfort in his faith. I'm not sure that it's enough to carry me thru these terribly dark, painful, raw days but I guess, I don't have much choice.

Nuts, I miss that kid. Thank you for letting me share.

Sincerely, Cheryl and Roger Monen, Lester, IA 51242 !