In the fall of 1979 my grandmother died. My Grandfather was beside himself with grief. My 2nd cousin Charlie. She came 40 minutes to help everyday. In June, I had just finished 4th grade and my brother was graduating High School. My Grandfathers ulcer was acting up a lot. A few days after my brother’s graduation my grandfather took us out to lunch. That night my grandfather was in a lot of pain. We called Charlie who called the Dr. who told her to get him to a hospital. After getting him there, she took me home to pack a bag for a number of days. I stayed with her for one night. She had called Eleonore and Leslie to come and get me. I was to stay with Leslie’s family until my grandfather got better or Judy’s family came back. I had a good time. They had a pool table and a pin ball machine in their basement. For Sally’s birthday, we went roller skating. I had never been before. That night I was in bed, thanking God for a great day and praying that my grandfather would be better. I was just dozing off when I heard the phone ring and I had the feeling it was Charlie. I was too tired to stay awake. The next day we went to church and Judy’s family was there too. After church we all went back to Leslie’s house. The adults took me in the back yard and told me that my grandfather was gone. I didn’t want to believe it. I kept shaking my head. Judy kept me focused and asked where or who I wanted to stay with. I knew I had to obey my grandfather and go with Judy. So that’s how it all started.
As I said before, It must have been a huge challenge for Judy and her family. Taking in a child with unseen problems is always a challenge. Aunt Judy says I was worth it.
So, my 10th year on this Earth I had lost my grandfather, moved away from my biological brothers, moved in with 3 boys and parents that had rules and expected you to study and do homework. I saw a psychologist who said I was surprisingly fine, and the school test givers who just kept testing me. I was given some clothes by a family friend and there was a t-shirt that summed my life and attitude up, “Keep on Truck’n”.
And so I have and will with God’s help.