Since Oct 20, 2002

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the oldest of 12 children, of whom 11 are living.
You learn to be bossy in that environment, and learn how to take care of others and yourself. You have enemies of course, but you also end up having a lot of common sense and many best friends in your old age. I consider myself blessed for having this background. Not that I’m really old of course, just 58 now, but my parents are gone and now who do they look up to?
When my husband died in September of 2006, 7 sisters and other friends showed up to help in all the stages and my small town in Montana was buzzing with stories about how wonderful my family was...they were blown away, never saw a family like mine, I am very proud to say.
Now, I’m very opinionated of course...what would you expect?
I was raised a conservative Baptist...but did I mention my father? He was a MEAN drunk and took out his anger on me, his eldest child, the one who was supposed to be perfect...but was a GIRL. I was always going to Hell, you know? I rebelled of course and it almost got me killed but I survived his abuse. He was adamant that we had to go to church while he drank and his dichotomy formed me. I felt I was so terrible that I got baptised 5 times, thinking as a child that the preacher at the revival meetings was talking specifically to me, a sinner. But you know what? Not one of my siblings is a Baptist now! In our opinion Baptists are about God’s fear, not about His love. We were afraid of the father image. Most of us came back to God after a few years, but we are all different in our expressions of faith. Two became committed Catholics, I became an Episcopalian who would now be Eastern Orthodox if I could. We have Assembly of God, Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians in our midst. Diversity, right?
Yes, diversity is key.
My father was Scots-Irish, ancestors all coming from Ireland and settling in South Carolina in the 1700s...My mother? Hispanic to the core, her ancestors being in New Mexico and Colorado since the 1600s....but my mother still had Spanish as her first language, was a Catholic and married out of her community as did my father. She became a Baptist but must not have practiced any form of birth control, thank God. Just before her death in 2005 she became a member of the Assembly of God. My father the Baptist died with a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon in his hand. I did not marry until I was 51 and found my guy. He was so talented. He was a gentleman, a fly fisherman, a hunter, he painted beautifully, was an accountant but he also carved the most beautiful gunstocks! He could do anything with his hands, was so intelligent, was a great bridge player and above all was SO cuddly! I was his Princess, he told everyone so and many people did not even know my name, I was just Princess. For 8 months now I have been a a widow and I'll never be Princess again but I am blessed to have found such a man as him. The man healed my life but now he is gone from my sight. 2007 has been a grieving time, a healing time, a bridge playing time and a time to wonder what is next?