This was a particularly hard time for all of our family. Relationships within our own little family were strained as we were confronted by some very hard facts of life involving our youngest son. At the same time my Mother and Dad were in declining health and other problems began to pile on. Our oldest son took himself out of the situation and moved in with his grandparents while he finished high school. I was glad that they had someone with them but missed him not being home with us. Our youngest son dropped out of school and was in with the wrong "crowd". There seemed to be little help because after age 16 the schools would not work to legally keep a child enrolled. The next few short years brought mostly sorrow and tragedy to our youngest son and our family. At the same time that his life was in turmoil, we lost both of my parents. All the years that my parents were here had been the best years for all of us. They were the binder that had kept our large and extended families so close. We had truly been blessed and had known little sorrow before those years of the late 90's.
In 2001, after a hard couple of years, things had begun to look up for us all. Our oldest son had settled in Wyoming, was working and happy. Our youngest son was striving to move forward in a positive way and had rekindled a relationship with his first love. They were married and to them were born beautiful twin girls in 2003. They were our first grandchildren and they brought such hope and joy for the future of our family. One of the babies became seriously ill a short time later and again we were all thrown into despair as we worried and prayed for her recovery. Thankfully, after several weeks she did recover which again gave us hope.
By 2004 our son's marriage had ended and his girls stayed with their mother. Again the family was torn apart and it seemed as though it would never be healed. The next year (2005)brought new light once again. Our son had met a wonderful new lady and brought her into our lives. She came not empty handed, but with four children of her own and before long we had yet another new grandchild added to the mix. They have struggled and worked hard to make their families become one and whole. All of these children have brought great new enjoyment to us. It is as if they have always been here and part of us. It is hard to look back without seeing them as a part of us and part of our history from the very start.
Time was moving fast now and by the end of 2006 our children had fought for and gained full custody of our son's twin daughters. The family was growing fast again and now had grown to seven children. We had become grandparents several times over in just a few short years! By the Grace of God and with a lot of hard work our family was getting back on track once more.
Both of our sons were moving onward and upward with their lives and we were so very proud of them both. Our youngest, who had fallen to near the bottom in his teen years had picked himself up, with the help of the Lord, and become Dad to seven children in the blink of an eye. It took a lot of work as one would imagine, but he has excelled beyond our dreams. He has a life partner to walk side-by-side down that path with. He goes to college, has a small family business on the side, and is a great "Mr. Mom". Our awesome and talented daughter-in-law teaches full time in an inter-city middle school. Most importantly, all of these children are happy and healthy with the love and support of two great parents.
I believe that our past in no small measure, leads us to our present. The road may indeed be rocky, but how and where we ultimately end up defines who we are.
One never knows what life may throw at us. A lot of it is exceptional and good, sometimes it puts us down into the pits of despair but one thing is for sure- we must never give up hope!
Our generations are growing close and now making their own memories, while NEVER leaving memories of their parents, grandparents, and loved ones far behind.This genealogy loving Grandma could not be happier. My family is whole again and just look at all the Grandchildren and step-Grandchildren who will need their history and ancestors to be uncovered! Who are we if we have no idea as to where we have been?
AND......, oh yes, how could I have forgotten? The year 2009 brought us all yet another miracle, a new bundle of joy. Our beautiful little " PENNY MAE" who was born on the 2nd day of January and named after her very own GGGGrandma----well,--- now, our Penny makes eight!