I wouldn’t have written this had not my eldest daughter requested it, because I’m not a very public person. We do much for our children, no? I am a wife, mother and grandmother which is what I have wanted to do since I was 7 years old. My two adult daughters are Leslie, who lives too far away in New York with her husband and grandchildren Julia, Miles and Natalie, and Lynn, who lives close by in St. Louis.
In 1957 I came to Yankee land, as my daddy called it, to attend Washington University. In my junior year I left college to marry, have children and live across the street from horses. Seven years later I moved back to the “city” to live within a stone’s throw of WU where I graduated in 1970. I’m still here. Halfway through a master’s in counseling my son John, then 19, died in a car accident. I didn’t return to graduate school, but now don’t regret not having an advanced degree, because I wouldn’t have the time or energy to work outside the home anyway!
Gary, my friend-husband of twenty years, and I dated in college; then re-met and married in 1982. I wondered if we would have anything to talk about since he had no children, but since he since I have a brain, do we ever talk! He has a great sense of humor and is the kindest man possible…handsome too. Combining an art scholarship with business equaled advertising for him outside St. Louis for many years. We have custody of Lynn’s daughter, who is now 13, so we need to stay in St. Louis. Since everyone likes Gary and he writes and communicates well, he is now doing community relations and developing programs for a hospital here.
Nichole has been with us from almost the beginning of her life and is a blessing beyond description. She refers to our relationship as “blood”, and hers with Gary as “spirit.” He is indeed her grandfather, caring for and adoring her from birth. We benefit from his reading aloud on winter evenings, and I watch while they fish…but we all love potboiler operas! When she was almost 2 years old I had breast cancer and a bone marrow transplant, so am a 12 year “thriver.” Survival is just the first step. In 2003 this tired 64 year old body is living the life of a much younger woman with a cheerleader- honor society child in the 7th grade.
Yes, I’m a soccer-basketball-volleyball-riding lesson-grandmom and enjoying it fully. Nichole’s friend’s mothers are good to me! Now that the third floor is remade into a teenager’s apartment, we’ll soon add on to our 1915 house so she can have parties for girls and boys, and so that a group of twenty-something’s our youngest pastor is mentoring can have bible study/ hangout space. God, being merciful, gives us so many chances to get it right.
I return often to Ft. Worth to see my mother but St. Louis, with all four seasons, is home and has everything but mountains and the ocean…those are for visiting. God willing, I’ll see you at our 50th.reunion. I do hope we’ll all have name tags!