Evelyn L. Major

Some how  …..some where……in the not too distant past………only about 75 years ago ! !A little girl  ( Evelyn) was  born  in Monroe Wa  she was to be raised in Yakima Washington and fortunate enough to have three brothers that cared a great deal for her.   She attributes  her survival skills and  who she was to become to these three wonderful ‘men’ . ( Not in any way to minimize the impact of her Mom and Dad.)

Born during the ‘30’s survival  was a way of life.  This was the period of the great depression, as it would be referred to in history books.  She came from a poor family not knowing they were poor because during those days nearly everyone was.  Poor only  in   money  never  lacking in love and caring from her siblings  (hereafter referred to as Tom  Jerry  &  Marvin )


My first  REAL   memories and not just something I may have heard repeated  from  family  members  takes  place  when  I  was  pre- school age and we lived in the lower valley just a few miles from Yakima at” Fletchers Place” where we would be returning in a few years unknown to us at this time .

I would walk to the bus stop with my twin brothers Tom & Jerry and wait there until the school bus came for them…….I  would stand and watch until  the bus was completely out of sight…then wander back to the house we lived in on this huge property surrounded by fruit trees and warehouses to keep myself busy and amused with my dolls and books until time for the bus to return  each afternoon.

We had a ‘pump’ on the kitchen counter and each morning  we had to ‘prime’  it to get our water.  This felt great to us because our previous house did not have the ‘indoor’ water……only  a water pump in the yard and a pail to “fetch” it in.  We also hung a tin cup on the pump for anyone that wanted a drink…a community cup I guess you could call it.

My parents evidently rented or ‘shared’ this house as my Dad was a transient…sometimes picking fruit…sometimes driving truck ….but  always an absent figure in our lives until………..the dreaded   “D” which is how I thought of the divorce that took place when I was 9 years old.   By then my Dad was gone all the time and we had moved into town (Yakima)  to  614 No 3rd St….my Mom worked in a café as a cook  us  “kids” spent many hours on our own  playing in the house and around the neighborhood  . Fortunately for us there was a city park only a couple of blocks away where we could go and be “safe”  much  different than parks are thought of now .  We took classes,  went  swimming , found new friends and waited for time for Mom to come home….She would call our names standing on the front porch and  we could hear her  and went running home.  Mom was always a pleasant smiling person but now in retrospect I know she must have been sad and lonely in the absence of our Dad when he became incarcerated and she had to work and leave us to take care of each other while she cooked and waited table in a small café near the main street in town.  During this time  the  adage of  “It takes a village to raise a child”  was  more truth than fiction.  All our neighbors kept an eye on us even when we were not aware they were doing so .We were lovingly and not so lovingly referred to as “those Johnson Kids.”

We would  play  in the yard and the “garage” I thought it was so huge and at that time referred to it as a barn…(.seemed like one.)  We would practice and attempt to put on “shows” charging some neighbor kids  2  or 3 pennies for admission.  We thought we had some pretty good plays…not realizing that the audience just hungered for something to do as well….( long before TV or computers ) and such a time  we had….building wonderful memories.  Out back were some large trees My brothers hung a rope over a large limb and made a ‘ rope swing ‘    Another short lived past time when my eldest brother Marvin nearly hung himself when he fell during his turn on the swing.  He was really better at building model airplanes from kits he saved his few pennies for .  The twins were more the outdoor duo.

Lots of love ,hardwork  and memories  went into  “614 No 3rd St “

This is where we lived when World War II  broke out .  I remember we were in the park playing when we heard some people say the bombs had been dropped on Pearl Harbor. We all ran home wanting the shelter of our home and the embrace of our Mom.  Not exactly sure what this all meant to us  until  “they” started taking our friends who happened to be Japanese out of their homes and taking them somewhere in the lower valley.  We learned later they were put into concentration camps simply because they were Japanese, American born ,  but Japanese.  What a miscarriage of justice that was ! ! ! .

We  had an uncle ( Bud ) who was in Pearl Harbor at that time so it was very real to us .  He made it home but many did not.  As we walked down our familiar tree lined street we could see the small flags in many windows with a star on them.  This was meant to denote  that   home had someone in the service fighting this war.

I had a second Uncle..Bill who served in the army as well.  Bud and Bill were brothers to   my Mom……..Elda.

When Dad was released from prison and came home late at night….Mom  had a “friend” with her who later was to become her husband . However as a result of having him in her bed while Dad was in prison she lost custody of us and we had to go live with Dad back in the  “lower valley” in a tent on the same ranch as we started out on but without the warmth and protection of a house. Fortunately for us it was summer time and Dad and the twins could make some money working in the orchards during “season” .  We slept in the tent but all meals were cooked and eaten outside .    Before winter set in we were able to move from the tent into a house on the same properties.  This was known as the Fletcher Ranch and Mrs.  Fletcher was very kind to us and tried to help in anyway she could .  Most felt sad for Dad having three children and no woman in the household ( by  then my older brother Marvin was with living elsewhere  as he refused to accompany Dad )

Many nights I cried myself to sleep aching for my Mom, wanting  her arms around me, wanting to just hear her voice.   Dad of course did not want me crying each night .. since there were four of us in one small tent.  So each night he would promise to put me on a bus the next morning to go see Mom…then I would stop my sobbing and finally fall asleep.  Morning would come and each time I would find  it had been an empty promise. Later in life I learned Mom had moved to Spokane Washington with her new husband ‘ Frank ‘  I am not sure what transpired but Dad sent me to live with her while he and the twins traveled to Idaho to “follow” the harvest .  Some say Dad did not think it a proper place for a girl  I  somehow thought he got tired of me hanging around and he was not quite sure what to do with a small girl.  He worked the twins hard but they seemed to thrive under his jurisdiction and both grew to be handsome, tall, hard working men.

I would find myself going back and forth between parents …when Frank ( my now step-dad ) would tire of having me around . Mom would find some excuse to ship me back to Dad who would either leave me with friends or  take me in depending on where he was in his drinking and womanizing life. Sometimes when I was with Mom she too would drop me off at people’s homes to live…I would work for strangers just for   board and room.  I would clean house and watch kids in exchange for being allowed to go to school.  At that time I did not realize this was abandonment. It was many years later talking over old memories with my brother Marvin and he used that term.  Sort of shocked me to realize that’s what it was.  Mom always had some good story for leaving me and since I loved her unconditionally I believed whatever she told me. During this time she left me with Mrs Stevens …

One thing I did love was school and wanted my education in the worst  way.  Thus was a good student ,but not real popular in the middle school  years.   I had only two dresses  for school  and would wash one and wear one for the entire year…not exactly what a girl at that age would like .  Other girls in my classes had so many nice skirts and sweaters however…….I would just be glad to be able to go to school.

It was during the 8th grade  I was sent to live with my Mom once again .   I was listless and not feeling well most of the time. When I arrived in Spokane Mom took me to a clinic to see a Dr  and I was diagnosed with rheumatic  fever and ordered complete bed rest.  Only allowed up for bathroom  privileges.

At this time I was glad Mom had previously encouraged my excellent reading habits,  I became an avid reader to entertain myself while Mom was at work.

It was during this period of time Mom and Frank moved from Spokane to Grand Coulee Dam so he could find work and I was registered in 8th grade .My 8th grade teacher offered her services to come to the house  2  or 3 evenings a week on her own time to tutor me.  What a sacrifice she must have made since this was in no way monetarily rewarded.  Due to her diligence I was promoted to 9th grade with the rest of my class.  I shall never forget Mrs. Hines a round grey haired loving  and caring woman.

Just before my 15th birthday I was moved back to Yakima  to live with my Dad and the twins.  By this time Dad had moved his “family” into a basement house ( the upstairs was never completed)  our walls and floor were concrete but we did have two bedrooms and a living area with kitchen.  A wood burning stove to cook on and to heat our home.  Plumbing was not complete ..We felt fortunate to have a kitchen sink though and under it stood a bucket for drainage which needed emptying many times during the day.  The outdoor toilet was not uncommon…. setting out just past a one car carport building.  I turned 15 just days after arriving in Yakima .   I  remember Mom gave me a hope chest for my 15th birthday that was my single precious possession.  Dad  gave me a birthday party , since he did not really know what was happening in my life there were no other kids invited it was all  grown up friends of his and my two cousins Donna and Vernice ( daughters of Carl my Dads brother )Beer and hot dogs were served. My cousins and I felt special that evening since we were allowed Pepsi…and did not even have to share a bottle.! !   Makes me smile now thinking of it..  I will never forget I received about a dozen pair of white bobby sox since that’s what the girls wore then and it was an inexpensive gift for them .I was appreciative however cause I needed them. ! ! !

It was during this time in my life I took my only  family road trip vacation…with my Uncle Carl and Aunt Louise and their two girls .We went  to Idaho to visit other cousins .It was also the first and only time I saw my Grandpa Johnson (Rufus). He was  in  an  “old folks home” as they were called then, but looked quite dapper. We only stayed for a little while but I can still see him standing there as we drove away…with the three of us girls stuffed into the back seat of the car in the searing Idaho heat of July.

I feel a special warm love for my brother Jerry…he was always so kind to me and watched out for me from early childhood until he left home to go into the Navy after he graduated from high school.  If I was sick with the flu when we were in high school he would take care of me…if I need personal “things” from the store   (in those days you did not speak of feminine hygiene in mixed company ) but he would brave the system and even go to the store to buy them for me when I needed them.

When Jerry was in the Navy and after he was discharged he always stayed in touch and would go out of his way to come to my home and see my  babies.
I was married during his absence from Washington.

Thank you Jerry for all your kindness…and love that you even now bestow upon me . I love you .  I have been so fortunate in many ways to have the family I had….the good ….the bad….the indifferent made me the person I am today.

When I was in 11th grade I met  Hal Hennick who would later become my husband and father of my four children.  But first I tried to finish school. I had lived with my newly married brother Tom and his young wife Gylah  (both were only 16 )    They were good to take me in.   When I found out she was going to have a baby and the small house barely had room for two , I knew I had  to find somewhere else to live once again.   For a time I would stay with friends first one then another and of course that was definitely temporary. .  My Dad had moved to Oregon with his new wife ( many years his junior ) one day I wrote him a letter and asked  if  I could come to live with him and finish school  he responded  “ sure come on down and go to school.”   I hitch hiked most of the way and then took a bus  the rest of the way from Yakima  Washington to Oakridge Oregon to live with Dad and complete  my  Jr  year.  In the meantime he had  his  ‘bride’ check   into it and found he had not been an Oregon resident long enough for me to attend school without him paying some tuition  or at least that is what they told me.When I  arrived  he  said there was no need for me to finish high school anyway…”girls just got married and had no need for an education”.  I was heartbroken ….so I called Hal in Yakima and asked him to come and get me.  He had already proposed to me before I left  to go to Oregon .Now found myself  turning to him for survival.  He came to Oregon with his cousin, Alan ,  they drove me back to Washington stopping in Sweet Home Oregon first to meet his sister Eva…she greeted me with a warm hug and a word of warning  about  getting married too young and for the wrong reasons.  I  felt  this was my perfect chance to have a place of my own…somewhere to live I thought permanent  and  even though I knew her words to be wise and true I  continued the trip .  Developing a deep bond between Eva and myself from that moment on.

My Mom was more than happy to sign for me to get married when I was only 17  and  the wedding took place in Hal’s parents small home.  There were a few family members of mine there as well and thus began another segment of my life.   We were married on Easter Sunday  13th of April  1952  and took a brief trip to Pt. Orchard for a “honeymoon” at his sister Imma’s  home .

Back in Yakima after the week-end  trip and living with his parents until we found an apartment near the service station he worked in that belonged to his Dad .  I settled into my apartment and felt great that I finally had a place of my own …I stayed home and kept the house clean and  prepared  his  meals .Within a year my darling baby girl  Dianne  arrived….I was giddy with happiness for having this beautiful being….and  within two short years and many moves my first son  Kevin  was born in Bremerton Washington.  At this time  I had no laundry room and had a wringer style washer I had to use to wash diapers and clothes in ..using the bathroom and rinsing in the bathtub… I have no memories of going anywhere with my husband except to his parents home…there was no form of entertainment in my life  I do remember going to  a movie one time with Hal when Dianne was so tiny..my laughter seemed to embarrass Hal , he got up and moved several rows away from us  for the rest of the movie.  At  19  I was  beginning to feel overwhelmed… in less than a year after Kevin arrived  my second son  Ron was born …so two in diapers and lots of laundry and little money.  Still living in Bremerton  and  Port Orchard area….moving into a house in Port Orchard I thought we bought only to find out later his Dad  ( Grandpa Hennick) had purchased.  Hal worked in the navy yard and had his friends to go to the tavern with on his off  time.  One day he went to work and did not return for several weeks.  A friend he worked with filled his mind with the idea of quitting the navy yard and going to  Walla Walla to work  in the pea harvest and make their fortunes.  Since it was pay day they got paid and took off.  I  did not know where he was for  several days.

During this period of  time  Kevin became very ill just a baby  8 months old  still on the bottle and started vomiting and could not stop…Imma ..my sister in law  took us to the Dr who immediately  put Kevin in the hospital  in Bremerton .After several tests he said Kevin had to be transferred to Childrens Hospital in Seattle.   Imma went with me , Dianne in the back seat and Kevin in Immas’ arms she had me drive her car since it frightened her to drive in busy Seattle area .   Kevin had emergency exploratory surgery during which time the Drs. said he would not make it but with the grace of God he did.  Hal reappeared when this ordeal was all over. Hal had been gone for quite some time I  was left with no money and no transportation.   Frightened half out of my wits I had to use my survival  skills again…to the point of taking milk from my neighbors’ porch for my children.  Stealing is more to the truth of it.  Somehow we managed to survive and since the house belonged to  Grandpa I had no worries about paying rent….God Bless both of  my in laws  throughout these times.!!!

When the harvest was completed  Hal returned to pack up his little “family” and move us all to Yakima once again since his parents lived there and he relied on them for more than just emotional support.  Our baby Debbi came along during this time but Hal was gone once again and while carrying her I worked two jobs and had my cousins  ( Donna & Vernice ) to watch the children while I worked as a waitress by day and the drive in theatre by night.  Hal spent lots of time with his jeep friends and the club he had joined called RidgeRunners….a rough and tumble drinking group he seemed to thrive on.   When it came time for Debbi to be born in Oct  of  1958  I had no idea once again where he was. I was home with my children alone….my water broke and I was so terribly frightened.  I called my brother Jerry who was at that time staying with my grandparents and he came to take me to the hospital…but not before stopping at his girlfriends and bringing her to stay at my home with my other three precious babies.

Much to my happiness I had a beautiful  healthy baby girl Debbi…and within the allowed three days hospital stay returned home again.  Hals Mom ( Grandma Hennick)   was  taking care of the little ones now  and a welcome sight for me when my Mom brought me home from the hospital.   Do not recall the situation exactly but for some reason Hal was gone again….always seeking the “perfect” job or off with the Ridge Runners…a “Jeep Club” of drinking friends he endorsed.

When Debbi was only a few months old , Hal  obtained a trailer house  single wide  two bedroom  less than 30’ long  which he with the help of his Dad  changed the back bedroom into a childrens room making two sets of bunks  much like  you might see on a ship in the Navy…with side slats on the two top bunks to keep the small children from falling out.   Thus converted, this became “home” and we had to  move again leaving the rental house and traveling to Oregon where his parents had relocated.  Our pattern following them…thank goodness in many ways we did that otherwise I have no clue what we would have done for food and shelter.  My brother Jerry and his wife Joyce  came to the house when we pulled out and I remember them standing in the middle of the street waving good -bye to us as long as I could see them in the rear view mirror.   I was crying…….the unknown and the cramped quarters had me in an emotional turmoil.

The move in and of itself were not foreign to me however  since during my 11 years of school between Mom and Dad and the moves Mom made I attended  9 different schools.   So  I  was hoping against hope this would be the last move. Much to my chagrin not knowing this one was the move that would eventually alter my life completely and affect  many  lives .

We continued existing in this small trailer for nearly a year .  Each morning he would get up go to work and go to his Mom’s for lunch…coming home in the evening only after I had already fed bathed &  put the children to bed.   Many days due to weather the four little ones were not allowed outside in the mud and cold so we all tried to entertain ourselves with games and stories.  We did have a TV but only 2 channels and that left a lot to be desired so I once again lost myself in reading and daydreaming.  Days turning to weeks…then to months…with no escape .  I loved my children but had no life for ME….but at that time many including myself considered being full time Mother and care giver as a blessing.  Yet I so yearned for more…did not know for sure exactly what , but wanted , needed something more.

Grandma and Grandpa Hennick tried to help  I am sure at this time they could see the discontent and sadness in me and on Sundays would invite us for dinner and after dinner and dishes were finished we would all pile in Grandpa’s car and he would take us for our Sunday drive…..that was the high light of my week.

In some way the tight living quarters were enlightened  when Grandpa bought us a larger trailer.  This one actually had three bedrooms so the girls and the boys had separate rooms ..small and cramped but oh my what a wonderful change .  Actually had a kitchen separate from the living room ! ! ! !   My life style was not altered however .   Hal continued being an absent figure for much of the time,   he did enjoy the taverns and his  buddies.  Many evenings not coming home until nearly midnight and under the influence.  Dirty &  grimy from being an auto mechanic  ( the profession he had finally settled into ) and body hygiene was definitely not his strong suit… he would drop into bed without a shower or even sometimes without washing.  Then wonder why I would turn my back and refuse him ,what he felt was my wifely duty..  Eventually he started being a bully with me and many times would beat me .  I tried to keep this behavior from the children but sometimes could not keep my screams to myself.  I know , that as young as she was ,  Dianne knew…..and this saddened me greatly.

The final time came when  he was beating me one night  in the living room and I was able to escape out the front door….ran to a neighbors and called Grandpa Hennick  (back in those early 60’s ) calling police would have been to no avail…was only considered domestic violence and was not dealt with as it is now.  Grandpa and Grandma came as quickly as they could that night.  I had returned to the trailer after using the phone , I was afraid for my babies to be alone with    him !!  He pushed me to the couch and started hitting me as Grandpa opened the front door.  Hal  reached to hit his Dad and his Dad told him  “You better make it a good one son “  and Hal dropped his defenses.  That night they took him away to their home….and I made up my mind I had to do something to change this pattern.  When he finally returned a few days later we were of course  extremely distant to each other.   All feelings for him however small they may have been had completely vanished.

We returned to the same routine…him leaving each AM early and returning after children and all the care that was involved  had been bathed and tucked safely in their beds.  I started making plans within my mind ..not knowing exactly how but fully realizing I had to leave …..we could not continue living like this.

On Thanksgiving  of  1959  I announced to his family I was going to file for divorce…they were not surprised but of course tried to talk me out of it.  He showed no emotion one way or another.  He scoffed and said  “ where you gonna get the money for that” and he left his sister Eva’s home without sharing the lovely dinner  she had prepared.

I did file for divorce with the $20. I had managed to skim  from the grocery money over time…he moved out of the trailer and in with his parents which was not too difficult a change for him since that’s where he spent most of his time anyway.

I obtained  a job as a waitress and was already selling Avon…Working graveyard  was easier to get a  sitter over night and a neighbor was available then and not during regular working hours.  Of course money became even more of a problem , I finally had to sell my coveted cedar chest ,  I had received on my 15th birthday  from my Mom and treasured all those years , to get a little extra money…for groceries and utilities.

After several months there was a court hearing and the divorce was finally granted  even though he was still not in favor of it.  During this separation time I had a customer  a very nice  and  handsome man at the restaurant I worked in . Roy  was to become the father to my daughter Carolyn and my future husband…in that order.  This order is what caused a great deal of pain and hardship for all concerned ,   especially my  children..

You need to understand that in the early 60’s if a woman  had a child out of wed lock she was considered a tramp…an unfit Mother…keeping this in mind please do not judge …the most difficult part of  my life  was about to unfold in the following:

I was divorced now…and struggling for survival …working nights in a café   During the day  the two oldest  ( Dianne and Kevin ) were in school and I would take the pre -schoolers with me and do my Avon route.  Back then they were  rural routes and districts with sometimes several miles between clients’ homes.   Making very little money at either job…barely keeping the proverbial wolf  from the door.  It was during this time I had to start selling some of my possessions to get money for food.   I had received a letter from Hals’ attorney stating I needed to give him the car now…….

As I watched the people carry my cedar chest to their truck I had flash back memories  of Yakima and my single teen age time again when Mom had put me with this lady named Mrs. Stevens.  My job was to clean her house and yard for a bed in the back porch ..a place to live and still be able to attend school.  I was there about two weeks when one time she said she was missing  $20.  and accused me of taking it.  I had no idea where her money was…I was poor but honest to a fault and had not taken anything.! ! !  She had a grown son  who was on the Yakima police force…she called him to come to the house to scare me into giving her money back.  I quickly used the phone and called my brother Tom and told him what was happening to me …I thought I was going to jail…I was so frightened.  My brother borrowed a friend’s pick up truck and  came to the house on  West Yakima Avenue..arriving about the same time the police son did.  They had a discussion while I quickly put what few clothes I had in my cedar chest .  In the few minutes that transpired the old lady found her  $20  and told her son…but refused to apologize to me.  My brother told them both to go to hell …and we carried my chest to the borrowed  pick up …that’s when he moved me in with him and his bride as mentioned earlier.  Thank You God for family……….was all I could think on the short ride from the West side of town to the East side of town and the 3 room house that would be home to me for the next few months……….

Yes flash back memories can be good and can be bad………

Time Passes…………………..after my divorce I moved into a 2 bedroom home in Lebanon Oregon….the four children and I survived there for several months.  Dianne was in school and the others home with me during the day.  I was carrying Carolyn….not knowing which way to turn .  Of course you can not argue with Mother Nature and eventually the time came for me to go to the hospital to give birth to my baby…Several times prior to this happening I had talked with Roy and thought we could be a “family” but he felt so pulled by his first family…he moved back in with them .  I was devastated !  Roy was the love of my life or so it seemed during this period .… I had to go to the hospital , Hal and his parents , took my four children to “care for” . I signed a paper forfeiting child support during this time.  I was so depressed and out of “it”  I did not realize I was signing away the custody  I had fought so hard for during the divorce proceedings..  ! !  When I recovered from the breakdown after relinquishing my baby to be adopted and went to retrieve my children I  was denied my family by Hal…and those papers I had signed..  Another blow….I returned to the house  in Lebanon and sold what few household items I had acquired.

When the offer to come to Foster Oregon and live with Hal and care for the children came my way of course I jumped at it.  Anything to be with my babies and care for them.   Hal had made the offer and of course in his mind…he thought once I got there things would be good and we would be a family.  We were sorta I guess …I washed cleaned cooked etc …caring for my babies was my life.  I slept with Dianne in her room and in her bed…Hal kept inviting me to his bed  but since I was still deeply in love with Roy this could not be.  One night when Hal started drinking after the children and I had gone to bed…he came to Diannes room and forced me to his room.  I tore loose and ran out the front door….he grabbed his rifle …started shooting.  I still to this day do not know if he was trying to kill me or just shooting in the air to frighten me.  Whatever it was it did scare the HELL out of me.  I ran to the local café …borrowed the price of a pay phone call from the waitress in the all night diner and called Roy.   He came to get me….the next day we waited until the children left the house with Grandma and Grandpa then drove down there to retrieve my personal belongings….stopped in Lebanon to get his clothes and drove to Seattle…never looking back.  Of course a piece of our hearts and soul remained in Oregon for many years.

Mom shared her small two bedroom home with us….Roy  and I sought and found employment….saving what little money we could  ( most of which went for child support for his children  and attorney fees to get custody of mine. )  We did go to Oregon every other week end to see our little ones….leaving on Friday evening after work and returning to Seattle on Sunday evening.   This all took an emotional and financial toll on us.

Eventually we were able to get our own place….a nice rental in the north end of Seattle….before long Mom moved in with us ..turn about.  We loved having her there. Each summer after more attorney fights and legal harassment we would have our children for a week during their summer vacation.

Every day our hearts were saddened ….wondering about our “baby” and especially during the Christmas holiday since she was born the day after Christmas….most of our holidays were spent in tears and anguish….where was she ?…how was she?…and of course with the laws as they were wondering if and when we would be  able to “connect” with her.

With much diligence and searching on my part…and her doing the same from her end we were finally able to connect…and talk on the

Phone…………..a hurried trip to Oregon by Debbi and myself ….going to the hospital records in Lebanon etc …more phone calls

During one of those phone calls before we met in person I asked her if she was left or right handed…and when she said left handed

I just “knew” this was my little girl…………..

That evening when we met in person and met her adopted parents……….it was solidified….what a grand time that was………so long in the making……………..

As in most lives….time marches on….sometimes slowly and sometime fast…..

I felt fortunate to have qualified for a good job that turned into a great job…and eventually I left the Finance Co and went to work for Ford Motor Credit….one of the best decisions I made…I learned a great deal there …and they benefited from my dedication and fervor to do my best …..during this time of my life I eventually regained custody and care of my children…Dianne graduated high school in Oregon and immediately moved to the Seattle area with me.

Next was Kevin his Dad and step-mom put him on a bus with his few belongings in a cardboard box tied with a rope….I went to the bus depot and brought him home………had his room ready and waiting ….He completed high school …graduated and joined the Marines…when he came home that day and told me what he had done I said….WOW….but why the Marines son???  He said……I am going to show my Dad I am the best I can be…………and he truly did that.

While in the Corp he married his high school sweetheart and they were blessed with two sons………….a divorce followed and many sad days and weeks ……………….

Debbi came up from Oregon for her “visitation”  and refused to go back.  Hal did not fight or go to court over that….since the fact was he never did really want the kids…only the status he felt he obtained by having “custody” ……….Debbi enrolled in High School and completed her formal education…getting other jobs and finally at Boeing where she developed a great repor with her fellow employees and supervisors….she was there for 18 years when she was sent to Italy….fell during the assignment…breaking her knee cap…and other developments followed…surgery…confined to bed at my home……etc etc….developed lymphodema as a result of the injury and the surgery that followed nearly a year later………..she was in horrible pain for more than a year….over-medicated by her doctor…..and lots of physical therapy followed…..she lost her battle on 10/29/08……..the loss of this girl..Mom…Sister and friend to many was deeply felt………and always will be………..

Ron was in Seattle for a short stint…choosing to return to Sweet Home Oregon each time………..his sweety and soon to be wife and Mother to his children was there…………..divorce entered ……….Ron amazingly hung in there…and raised the two apples of his eye …educated them and college etc….great jobs for them ( Summer & Justin )  marriage and doing well.   Now (2009 ) Ron seems to be taking time for himself…he gave everything he had inside and out for the love of these two just as all good parents…………..there is an amazingly envied tie there that most would “kill” for…….

Well………now back to the curly haired little girl born in 1934…………..when she turned 70….cancer entered her life……breast cancer and surgeries….etc……seemed to get through all that with the love and help of family…………..and friends………then four years later……once again the C word……….lung cancer…surgery to remove the bottom third of her right lung……..recovery long and painful……….now a year later and still am amazed by the amount of pain…….and agony that transpires most days..

Am not sure which was the most painful the loss of my baby daughter 2 months prior to the lung surgery…….or ????

The saying that children are not supposed to pass prior to parents is truly true……..not a day or an hour goes by that I do not feel the empty ache in my chest……….and that’s not from cancer…. ! ! ! !

Fast forward …………..2009………….I have a comfortable and warm home….decent transportation and the love of my family and many friends.

When I see people on the “streets” so to speak I truly count my blessings.

I was blessed in August of 2002 when I met Wayne…….soon to be accepted by all my kids….we became great friends…..and felt a different kind of love than either had known in the past years…………we are happy……blessed to not be alone…..and are able to help each other through this trip of LIFE…..for better or worse…sickness and health…………

My advise to all that choose to read this…………count your blessings and remember to give Love you will then receive Love…Life is what you make it………

I am hoping and praying for my children to have a smooth path to their next life…………..

############Mom….here saying I hope you learn more of who and what I am about by my sharing this with you….#############

Much more could be said….but this sorta covers it….Just know please I love all of you so very much.

You are the reason I was able to survive some of these times………….now I am in a better place in life and cherish each visit and phone call from you ……………J     J      J

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