Since Oct 28, 1998
When my Father was diagnosed with a service connected disability and his doctors would give him a year to live, he returned home from the Army and had a talk with his girlfriend who would become my Mother. They decided they would marry immediately and have a child before he passed away.
Who would marry a dying man? Either my mother was entirely altruistic or greatly in love.
I would be their first child born eleven months after their marriage in the middle of winter,
As a child, I recall my Father teaching me, forcing me, working with me and telling me things with words like, “You have to learn how to do this so you can take care of your mother”. He would live until I was 17 and died at the age of 39. My parents had other children but I was the one who got the message: “take care of my mom”.
The day my Father passed away was the unhappiest day of my life. I recall him lying on the Gurney. I just wanted him to sit up and tell me everything was OK. I kept telling him over and over again, “I will make you proud of me”.
For the most part, I think he would be proud of me. I helped my Mom until she found my step father six years later and still helped them both. They adopted a handicapped Child together and struggled all of their lives. I gave my mother a birthday present on my birthday every year with the Message: “Thanks for borning me”.
I joined the Navy Reserves when I was in High School and after that I found my girlfriend. I would eventually be called to active duty in Vietnam in 1966, after my graduation but before hers, spoiling our chance for a Church wedding.
She was a “keeper” and I didn’t want some one else snap her up while I was gone so I proposed an immediate wedding. We ran away to another State when she was still in high school and and I left for the war zone.
We wrote 700 letters between us in the two years I spent in the Navy. I returned home and she would help me graduate from College. She would help me through jobs, starting businesses, and getting through more than one mid life crisis. Three of those businesses survived and one has a twenty four year life now providing jobs for family and my Brother.
The happiest day of my life was when out oldest daughter was born. I was there but the Hospital would not let me stay so I left and stood under the second story window where my wife and baby were located. My wife would come to the window and would hold the baby up so I could see them both. I cried with happiness.
We would have four more children, a total of four daughters and a son. All of them are functional adults now with Children of their own making my wife and me proud.
We have eighteen grandchildren and we aren’t done yet. My wife, Rae Beth, and I have been married for 45 years! We have been poor and we have been rich. We want for little now and we have been truly blessed. I am so grateful.
Want to become rich and NOT have to wear a fake Rolex? You can become rich in an instant just by being thankful for what you have!
Thanks to my Dad making me learn things, I have developed the confidence that, if I want to do something, I can do it!