Posts Tagged ‘Emma’
John and Joni Creighton were married on August 19, 1989 in St. John’s Catholic Church in rural Rawlins County. In twenty years of marriage, they have lived in Boston, Massachusetts; Falls Church, Virginia; Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland, and Boulder, Colorado. They have called Longmont, Colorado home since 2001. Both John (1983) and Joni (1986) are graduates of Atwood High School.
John is the son of Robert and Barbara (Wilson) Creighton. He was born in Atwood on October 11, 1964. He followed the family tradition (fifth generation) attending the University of Kansas where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in economics and business administration in 1987. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1990.
John worked on Governor Mike Hayden’s campaign staff in 1986 and 1990. For the past 20 years, John has worked as a public leadership consultant with a focus on public opinion research. He worked for The Harwood Institute for Public Innovations from 1991-1999. John founded his own consulting firm in 1999. Most recently, John agreed to write for the community section of the online edition of a major national newspaper.
John is active in Longmont, too. He was elected to the St. Vrain Valley School District board of education in 2007, the same year he succeeded his father as president of the High Plains Bank Holding Company.
Joni is the daughter of John and Betty (Rooney) Mickey. She was born in Atwood on May 20, 1968. She was a member of the Atwood High School state cross country championship team in 1986.
Joni attended Kansas State University and graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Maryland in 1994. She worked in the emergency room of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, as a floor nurse at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland and as a research nurse in Boulder, Colorado.
John and Joni have three children, Emma Cloe born on May 26, 1997; Joseph Paul born on August 7, 1999; and Ada Grace born on December 18, 2001. All three children were born in Boulder, Colorado. Emma, Joe and Ada Grace hold the distinction of having two grandparents serve as Mayor of Atwood – Bob Creighton, 1983-1991 and Betty Mickey, 1999-present (Betty is the first woman and longest serving Mayor in Atwood history). The children enjoy visiting Atwood where they take swimming lessons most summers.
* * *
Submitting to The Rawlins County History Book
My son is dealing with some sad news – sad news for him. For the second time in about as many years, one of his best friends is moving. In both cases, their dad’s professional opportunities took their families away from Longmont.
I sometimes think about the parade of friends that left my life in grade school and junior high. Jimmy Wilson, Ken Stonebreaker, Ricky Michel, Bret Maris, Greg Hale, Brad and Bruce Holaday, to name a few – all important people in my daily life and then they were gone.
The good news about the world we live in today is good-bye isn’t what it used to be. Saying good-bye today is temporary. In the past there was much more permanence to those words.
Most of you who read this blog are friends from a time past. We’re back in touch through the magic of social media. Over the past nine months I have reconnected with countless friends (well, I could look on Facebook and give an exact count). I occasionally read or see snippets of your lives. In some cases I’ve restored connections with people who I had not heard from in some 20 years.
Without a doubt, I am a fan of these new ways of communicating.
When my friends moved away from Atwood we sometimes made heartfelt pledges to stay in touch. My parents would encourage me to write or call (after 7 p.m. or on weekends). But we didn’t. The level of effort to communicate was more than an eight, ten or twelve year old boy will make. Over time, we lost touch with each other. Our relationship became nothing more than youthful memories.
I think it will be different for my son. Email, text messaging (when he’s older), Facebook and Twitter (when he’s ready) have reduced the barriers of communication to almost nothing. I keep in touch with the parents of Joe’s friends using these tools. That’s how we learned about a house sale and purchase.
My oldest daughter, who bought her first cell phone this month, keeps in touch with a friend from middle school orchestra through text messages. They live in distant parts of town. She has become close friends with Amy Milton’s daughter Elly even though they live thousands of miles apart through the power of email and occasional time together in Atwood. These are the types of relationships that were hard to nurture a generation ago – 10 years ago.
There is nothing like being able to run down the street and knock on a friend’s door, “Can you play?” That type of intimate relationship is impossible to replace. That is just as true today as it ever was.
But, when childhood friends are separated by geography it is far easier to stay connected – even closely connected. While saying good-bye has and will include tears, it makes the transition from neighbor to friend just a little bit easier.
If good-bye is necessary it’s a good time in history to say it.
How do we make our dreams come true? I contemplated that question recently when I was asked to give a high school commencement address.
One of the first people I thought of was Mr. Bray. He was the custodian at our high school. His son Jeff was in my class, Jerry was a year older and Mark was in Alec’s class. They had several older siblings who I didn’t know well. Mrs. Bray sold Paul and I our number 18 jersey’s, which we promptly converted with paint to number 19 so we could play Johnny U, at Williams Bros. Department Store.
I also thought of a book I’m reading with my daughter Emma, Rain of Gold, by Victor Villasenor. The story is about Juan and Lupe Villasenor who fled revolutionary Mexico to California about a century ago. Juan’s and Lupe’s respective families faced many hardships before finding peace and prosperity in the United States.
I will forever remember one scene in the book. Juan and his family are camped outside of Ciudad Juarez hoping to cross the border into the United States. They have nothing. They must pick corn from manure to stave off starvation. One night, after a terrible sandstorm, Juan’s mother, Dona Margarita, is all but blind. A sister already is. The family wants to give up.
Dona Margarita calls a family meeting. This is a woman who has lost several children to war. She is nearly blind. Her grandchildren are crying with hunger. They have no home. No money.
With all these hardships, Dona Margarita says to her family, “We must open our hearts so that we can see the possibilities in our predicament. If we do not look for the possibilities, we have nothing.” She went on to tell her children that they must pray to God for the strength to make miracles happen.
That is a central theme in this book. God makes miracles happen, if we’re willing to do the work.
Mr. Bray exemplified this idea. He dreamed of a grand home for his large family. That’s hard to come by on the modest income of a high school custodian. Most of us might not move beyond the stage of dreaming thinking to ourselves, “It can’t be done.” I can imagine Mr. Bray thinking, “I will not be deterred.”
From the time I was about five or six, I have memories of Mr. Bray at different places around town – in the evenings, on weekends and all through the summer. We would be out riding our bikes or playing basketball and we’d see Mr. Bray hard at work tearing down abandon homes and buildings.
He carefully took the buildings apart and saved the lumber, doors and window frames. When his work was done, he left clean lots removing eyes sores from the community. His work was a service in and of itself.
I didn’t really understand what Mr. Bray was doing at the time. I thought it odd how carefully he stacked and stored the lumber. Most demolition projects I’d seen were more violent. The materials headed for the dump. From the vantage point of a child, Mr. Bray’s efforts seemed like a big waste of time. But, by the time we were in high school the Bray’s had one of the biggest houses in town.
Now, when I think of what it takes to make dreams come true, I think of Mr. Bray. Dona Margarita, the wise mother in Rain of Gold, had it right. Miracles are possible if we’re willing to do the work.
Mr. Bray is a testament to that.
My Dad invented this snack – at least as far as I know. He often ate it on summer evenings after long runs. I picked up on the habit at about nine or ten years-old. It’s been my favorite snack ever since – though I only have the snack occasionally now. It’s best enjoyed with a cold glass of milk.
Here’s a video by Emma in which I show Joe and Ada Grace how to make the best snack ever.
I rang the doorbell, turned and ran as fast as my feet would carry me toward the front gate. But, I hadn’t planned well. The gate was latched shut.
The seconds it took to make my way through the front yard exit cost me dearly. Miss Bearly was swift of foot. She caught me by the collar just a few strides outside her gate.
The penalty for trespassing was severe. I knew it before I rang the bell. A kiss. Or, a pinch. Probably both.
A game of ding dong ditch? No, it was May Day.
May Day – not to be confused with the Communist celebration – is one of those second tier holidays you greatly anticipate as a child and then forget completely until you have children of your own.
Our tradition was to make baskets filled with candy for our friends and neighbors – it was the sugar fix between Valentine’s Day and Halloween. Mom often added pansies to the baskets for the other Moms.
Apparently, flowers is supposed to be the featured item in a May basket. I cared only about the sweets.
My favorite “basket” was the cupcake with a pipe cleaner handle. I loved to decorate the cupcakes and lick the knife.
Once the baskets were complete, we left them on a friend’s or neighbor’s doorstop, rang the door bell and tried to escape. The chase was the best part of the holiday (okay, licking the knife with frosting was the best part but the chase was a close second). I liked being chased far more than chasing a culprit from our yard. I didn’t want to catch anyone. Especially if I had to kiss them.
We always went to Miss Bearly’s (now Mrs. Erickson) on 2nd Street, I think it was. She was my first grade teacher. She was fun. She was always up for a chase. We share a birthday of October 11. And, most of all, I’m grateful that she helped Mom discover I had dyslexia. That led to a lot doctor’s visits and exercises I wasn’t too keen on but paid off in the long run.
Joni was excited to renew the May Day tradition when we moved to Longmont. She had fond memories of the holiday, too. But, we soon discovered we were one of the few people who had ever celebrated the holiday as children. When our kids placed baskets on friend’s doorsteps and rang the door bell, no chase ensued. There were just strange looks and questions, “What are you doing.”
We still plan to celebrate this year. Our kids are getting older and we won’t have many May Day’s of interest left.
The debate in the house is what to include in the baskets. Our kids follow in my footsteps. They want candy.
Joni suggested flowers, fruit leathers and pistachios. Huh?
In the end, it won’t matter much what we give as gifts. The main thing is that May Day is our last good excuse to ding dong ditch.
It would be nice if there was an easy way to share our personal setbacks with our children so they could benefit from our experience. Heck, I’d settle for a not so easy way if it was effective.
The reality is that the only way for our children to learn how to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back in the game is to get knocked down in the first place.
Last night, I told my daughter Emma about a setback I had my freshman year at the University of Kansas.
I won a Summerfield Scholarship from KU – awarded to “top graduates from Kansas high schools” – based mostly on my ACT scores. I received few letters from colleges or universities prior to taking the ACT. Once I received my scores, the letters arrived soon after.
I never seriously considered attending any school except KU. It was where I wanted to go. It was a family tradition.
My parents, both graduates of KU, were thrilled when I was invited to interview for the Summerfield Scholarship. They were more excited when I was named a Scholar. I was one of the few Atwood graduates to earn the award. I think Harry Wigner did before me. There may have been more Atwood grads to earn the award since, but I must confess I don’t know.
At the time, I did not understand or appreciate the significance of the award.
As happens to many college freshmen, I did not focus on my studies as I should. I was having too much fun being away from home, having the freedom to go out with friends when I chose. I spent too many Thursday nights and Wednesday nights at places like Louise’s and The Hawk.
My first semester grades reflected my lack of focus. Thirteen hours of B and three hours of A. Not bad, but not good enough for a Summerfield Scholar.
What’s more, five hours of B were a complete act of charity.
I went to see my calculus professor about my final exam. As she pointed out my errors, she noticed an error of her own. She had made an addition mistake when calculating my scores from the three part exam. I hadn’t earned a B. My test score was 76% not the 86% she marked on the paper. My overall grade was just over the cusp of 80%. A final exam score of C would knock my overall grade to C, too.
My professor sat at her desk in silence for well over a minute contemplating what to do. Finally, she said, “If you wouldn’t have come to see me, I would not have found my grading error. I’ll let you keep the B.”
I was grateful at the time. I didn’t realize how lucky I was until later.
Shortly after the semester came to a close, I received a letter notifying me that I would not receive the Summerfield Scholarship the next semester due to a low GPA. Losing the $500 dollars was a blow. (A semester’s tuition in those days was $496. The first time I paid, I received four dollars change.) Even tougher was breaking the news to my parents.
It’s not always fun having parents with high expectations.
My parents, perhaps not surprisingly, were supportive and encouraging. Dad made a typical, short and to the point comment. “Earn it back,” he said lightheartedly as if he had complete confidence that I would.
That’s what I did. It took two full semesters but I finally elevated my overall GPA to just over 3.5 – the mandatory minimum for a Summerfield Scholar (it’s even tougher today, the minimum is 3.65). That’s when I fully realized the generosity of my first semester calculus professor. If she had given me a C as I deserved, I would not have raised my GPA over 3.5. I would not have been eligible to be reinstated.
These are the types of lucky breaks and acts of kindness that can change lives.
I told Emma this story because she failed a Language Arts test this week. Her teacher, too, is giving her a second chance. She has the opportunity to take the test again next week. This exam was her first major setback as a student. Sure, there have been times she could have done better. But, on balance, she is a very good student.
It was hard for Emma to ask Joni to sign the letter from her teacher informing us of the failed exam. It was even harder for her to tell me.
It’s not always fun having parents with high expectations.
In a few weeks and certainly months, we all will have forgotten about this one exam. I have complete confidence Emma will do fine on her “redo.” My hope is that Emma’s lasting lesson will be learning to deal with setbacks in school.
As parents, we want to protect our children from heartaches and even minor setbacks. We know what it’s like to fail and we don’t want our children to endure the pain.
But, we can’t always protect our children nor should we try. Our kids can’t learn what they need to know by hearing stories of our skinned knees. The important lessons come from skinning their own.
Pickup theater season kicked off this weekend.
I played pickup basketball and baseball when I was young. We played basketball in friend’s driveways and at the tennis courts by the Court House. Our baseball fields were vacant lots behind the Christian Church, the corner of 8th Street and Highway 36 and the southeast corner of the Court House block.
Our games had little organization. Whoever showed up, no matter what age, was in the game. Sometimes we put together loose organization that lasted for a few weeks. We had a three-on-three baseball league at least one, maybe two summers – The Holaday Twins and Rod Briggs (sometimes Greg Green) were the northern team; Doug Trail, Tim Yount and Matt Cunningham represented the south side of town (Tim’s roots were in the south), and Paul Hayden, Mark Buhler and I, along with substitutes who we could recruit were the Central Atwood team.
We even went so far as to make homemade uniforms. Kids of every generation seem to love uniforms and costumes. You can make out a few jerseys on Gene Currier’s video clip.
Our kids’ interests are different than mine were as a boy. Somewhere along the line, our kids got a theater bug – especially Joe. When the kids were very young they became infatuated with a movie version of CATS. It’s a love affair that has lasted almost seven or eight years.
Last summer the kids organized an acting troupe they call the Pratt Street Players (we live on Pratt Street) and did a performance of CATS for parents and all the neighbors the kids could recruit.
The practiced every day, three to four hours, for nearly a month in our garage. My office is located in a loft just above the garage. If you would like me to sing you a CATS song, I’m capable.
Our kids have long put on after dinner performances when we have friends or family over to our house. A typical performance included more time figuring out who is going to do what and competition between “directors” than actual acting.
We told the kids (okay I told the kids) if you’re going to invite people to a performance you need to be a bit more polished. I was blown away by their production. It included a buffet of food to be a “dinner theater”; a stage crew who operated everything from background to strobe lights and ticketed seating.
The song and dance numbers were more than a bit polished. Kids from age six to eleven danced in (almost) perfect sync. Best of all, they had a blast.
They have decided to do a reprise of CATS. Rather than a one night only performance, they’re planning a three night run sometime in late June. They’ve already enlisted their grandma Mickey in making costumes. They’ve put together a practice schedule. And, they’re recruiting a larger cast.
Just like the pickup games of my youth it’s a “no cost camp” that keeps the kids entertained for hours on end. And, I’ll get to bone up on my CATS songs since my office still sits above the theater.
av-a-tarˌ [av-uh-tahr, av-uh-tahr] –noun
Hindu Mythology. the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
Computers. a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.
Emma designed my new avatar. I am using it as my “face” for making comments on WordPress and on Twitter. It’s a little hard to see on Twitter but we can work on that.
Emma imagined this as more of a logo. When the early drafts were developed, neither of us knew the term “avatar.” I had no idea the term originated from Hindu mythology.
This logo/avatar was originally conceived on the beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico. Emma spent time each day etching in the sand. She called me over one afternoon to show me her work.
“This is your new logo,” Emma reported.
I didn’t know I had an old logo but I thought this one looked cool. I asked Emma to turn it into a logo I could use when we got home. I only discovered recently that rather than a logo it makes a decent avatar.
The main elements of the avatar are the same as Emma first sketched in the sand – the C wearing sunglasses, four hairs sticking out in back (I’m not sure what Emma’s trying to tell me. The KU colors and John Cr8on were added when Emma transferred her idea to paper.
Emma loves design. She spends many evenings sketching clothes ideas, making jewelry, crafting greeting cards or creating magazine covers on the computer.
I first noticed Emma’s fondness for design when she was in the fourth grade. I walked into her room one February night and discovered her hard at work on a project of some sort. Colored pencils were scattered about her bed spread. She was folding into fourths a piece of paper from the stack at her side.
Emma loved to doodle and draw from an early age. I assumed she was doing more of the same. It was getting close to bedtime so I asked her to wrap it up.
“I can’t Dad,” she replied. “I’m under a lot of pressure.”
Emma is a normal kid and likes to lobby for a later bedtime but this tactic was new. “What do you mean, pressure,” I asked.
“I have to finish 12 more Valentine’s cards by tomorrow,” she replied.
“I thought you finished your Valentines.”
“These aren’t for me,” Emma explained. “I’m making these for my company.”
Now I was confused. “What?”
She handed me a card from her pile and continued to explain, “I have a card company and I’m selling these to my friends.”
I examined the card. The front was covered in hearts and flowers. The inside included more hearts and a bit of verse. The back of the card is what caught my attention. Centered on the back of the card was a tennis shoe with large laces. The word “Shoelace” arced over the top. The words “Greeting Card” formed a half-circle underneath.
“What’s this,” I asked.
“That’s the name of my company,” Emma responded without looking up.
“Yeah, I have a greeting card company and that’s my logo.”
“That’s really cool,” I said with enthusiasm. Having grown up with a lawyer the next words were out of my mouth before I thought through the implications, “This looks a lot like Shoebox Cards. It might be a copyright problem.” I know. Let the kid enjoy her moment.
“That is where I got the idea,” Emma admitted with some concern.
“Don’t worry about it,” I said trying to tamp down a late night break down. “These cards are really cool.”
“So I can stay up later,” Emma asked hopefully.
“Thirty minutes. Then you’ve got to get some sleep.”
I noticed a new set of cards a couple of months later. And, a new “company” – Heart the Earth. She had tested the idea of Carnation Your World, but that didn’t stick.
Logos appear in many places. Heart the Earth produced our family Christmas letter this year. And, when the kids made me a Father’s Day t-shirt – painted with lady bugs on the front – Emma covered the back with a number of “sponsor” logos just like a road race t-shirt.
Who knows where our children’s youthful interests will lead. As parents, we wonder is this just doodling or the beginnings of a career path.
For now, we just let her have fun. And, I’m keeping my legal concerns to myself.
One challenge I wrestle with as a parent is the same challenge I encountered as a manager. What motivates me does not necessarily motivate others.
Our daughter Emma has a tender heart. She responds best to nurturing and praise. She abhors structure. And, she thinks and works visually. She’s decidedly a right brain kind of gal.
I’m not. My left brain dwarfs my right. I discard visuals to focus on text. I’ve had co-workers tell me I have ice in my veins and chafe at my penchant for “clear plans.” And, I get motivated when I get a kick in the pants.
For instance, the teachers who inspired me to elevate my “game” were those who made it clear I had underperformed. I can remember their words as if they were said (or written) only yesterday.
Miss Bearly, my first grade teacher, who made me stay after school to improve my work, “This is too sloppy.”
My high school sociology teacher, Mr. Finn who said, “I would have expected better from you.”
My high school history teacher, Mr. Bliss who explained my poor grade saying, “A student like you should choose better words.”
Dr. Seaver, a highly respected history professor at KU who wrote across the bottom of my paper, “This is rotten careless work.”
And, Dr. Malcolm, an economics professor, who simply wrote at the top of my first exam: 36 – F.
I dug myself out of a hole and earned an A in each of these classes (well I guess you don’t get As in first grade). I wasn’t pushed in the same way in the classes in which I received Bs.
What motivated me, in part, is I don’t like to lose. When the challenge was put squarely on the table, “you can do better,” the classes became a game. An “A” meant victory.
My professional mentors who pushed me hardest brought the most out of me, too. Neither Mike Hayden nor Rich Harwood was too concerned about my feelings when things needed to get done. Their attitude was have fun when the work was done. That was just fine with me.
Emma doesn’t respond so well to this approach. As you can imagine, we occasionally butt heads.
She was doing math homework the other night, calculating square footage, when she declared, “This is stupid. No one would do this in real life.”
I looked at the problem and offered, “I do this kind of math all the time in my work. Your mom has to figure out square footage when we do house projects.”
“Look at that problem again, Dad,” Emma demanded.
I read: A garden is 18.75 feet by 4 feet. If a bag of mulch covers 7.5 square feet, how many bags of mulch would you need to cover the garden?
“We do those kinds of problems all the time,” I said again.
“No you don’t,” Emma rebutted.
“We do, Emma,” I replied, trying not to be impatient.
“If it was you, you’d say, ‘Ah, it’s about 80 square feet. Buy a dozen bags and if we have extras we’ll take them back to the store,’” Emma concluded emphatically.
I had the feeblest response of all, “Please, just do your homework, Emma.”
Emma is self aware. She knows that competition is not her thing. She turned to me one night and stated flatly, “Dad, I’m just not competitive like you.”
On the outside, I was calm and understanding. “That’s okay, Emma. Not everyone is.” On the inside, a voice was shouting in my brain, “What is the matter with you?!?”
I learned a lot as a manager. I worked at it. I tried to understand my style and the styles of my employees. I wasn’t perfect by any stretch. Some days, I pushed too hard and had to back off.
But, I have good relationships with my former employees and we did kick-ass work. We set standards that people still talk about. I take that as a sign that something was right.
Somehow, what I learned as a manager doesn’t always translate well to the home. Emma and I still search for that space in which we can bring out the best in each other.
Sometimes we do better if we pick the right time of day. Late Sunday nights is not one of those times.
Sometimes we just need to give each other room – or at least I need to back off. Occasionally I’ll offer to help type a paper and she gives me a leery gaze. “No suggestions,” she’ll say. She knows me too well.
Mostly we do better if I’m disciplined about limiting my role to asking questions without commentary.
I also try to remember that the effort to discover what motivates our kids is part of the process of growing up. As Joni often reminds me, Emma’s only eleven years old. And, I’m only forty-four.
We both have a lot more growing to do.
Stephanie Reed, a woman I’ve neither met nor spoken to, gave my family a great gift in 2004 when her book Across the Wide River was published. I recently ordered her second book, The Light across the River. These are fictional stories of the Reverend John Rankin family and the role they played in the Underground Railroad.
Reverend John Rankin is my 4xgreat –grandfather on my mother’s side.
My mother had a keen interest in genealogy. She struck up a correspondence friendship with Mrs. Reed while doing research on the Rankin family. My mom was recognized by Mrs. Reed in the acknowledgements of Across the Wide River. I got goose-bumps when I saw her name in the book.
As a child I did not pay enough attention to the stories my mom told about our family history. These stories take on greater importance, I realize now, when you have your own children. The desire to explain “who we are,” “where we came from,” and “what we stand for,” takes on new meaning.
Across the Wide River came at an important time in my life. My mother died of breast cancer in 2002 the day after my daughter Emma’s fifth birthday. My children will have virtually no memories of my mom. She won’t be able to pass on to my children the stories of her – our – family. The responsibility falls to me and I was less than an attentive student.
Then came Across the Wide River. This book provided me an opportunity I could not have created on my own. Mrs. Reed handed me a strand of our family narrative that I could use to engage my children in learning about family and, more importantly, to provide my children with ancestral roles models.
We have direct descendents who had the courage to stand up against prevailing public sentiment in defense of a greater moral value: Freedom.
Across the Wide River is symbolic of the great power of family stories. As we read and discussed the book together, I could feel my own children gaining confidence to strive to do the right thing. They are developing a sense of responsibility to continue a family legacy of standing up for social justice.
I have never done anything even marginally similar to the heroic efforts made by those who were part of the Underground Railroad. I don’t begin to expect that my own children should or will one day do things that make them historic figures.
But there is a strange sort of comfort, a reservoir of courage somewhere deep within, that springs from the knowledge that someone in your family – even family members who lived more than 170 years ago – successfully confronted more difficult challenges than we will ever encounter.
My daughter Emma talks about an inner voice she hears on the few occasions she’s had to confront a bully in the school yard. She says it’s as if Lowry or one of her 4xgreat uncles is saying, “You can do this.”
Every family has stories of making it through difficult and challenging times. My wife Joni’s parents managed the stress of little income without their daughters knowing the difference and became role models of public service.
Many families are descendents of combat veterans who had to face up to the untold horrors of the battlefield – men and women who returned to their families and communities to build a future.
These types of family stories are of critical importance to next generation and the generation after that. Through our family stories we learn that courage, cooperation and perseverance are not qualities limited to fairy tale heroes. These are qualities that reside within us all to be called on when needed.
Our family stories help us learn that even in the darkest hours there is light ahead.
Thank you to Stephanie Reed for sharing these family stories.