Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Four

In thinking about this chapter I realized that it may be fairly lengthy and will probably take more than one chapter to update you on everyone.

The date today is September 29, 2013. As of today, we have our last three young adults still living at home as well as, two, very large Old English Sheepdogs. Our home is still quite busy since the three we have here have various levels of need to function in and out of our household.

If Don and I want to go away for more than a day, than we have to find someone willing to come and stay overnite or for however long we plan on being away.

It is not an easy life, but it was one we chose and are committed to until they are all looked after. We are not admirable, or amazing....we are just parents.

So, lets start at the top...where are they now.....

Our eldest Leslie, as was mentioned went to college in Chicago and graduated with a degree in vocal music. She married James and gave birth to five children, one of the five died mid pregnancy and we'll have to wait to see Hayden when we see our Leah. Our grandchildren in their family are Jairus, Honour, Verity and Afton. Leslie always chose quite unique names for her kids! A year ago, they built a home in the country...perfect for four kids to run off steam and grow up on!

Leslie just had her thirty-ninth birthday. She is active in our church and teaches music lessons privately. She also conducts a children's choir. Leslie and her husband have made the decision to homeschool their four kids...a daunting task for sure! Although she is at the age when she isn't climbing trees and tv towers, one of her daughters takes after her and will climb everything in back time I think!

Next in the line up is eldest son Ryan. Ryan went the furthest of all our kids in his education. First he had four years at a bible college in Saskatchewan, this is where he also met Jennifer, who later became his wife. Wen he graduated from that college with his B.A., he needed to get his Masters degree, he wanted to teach and this was a requirement. So, off he the United States this time, a little town just outside of Boston....he was there for two years and graduated with his Masters. He had hoped to get a teaching job in a college at this time but unfortunately, the message came through loud and clear that he would need his PH.D. before that would happen. It was at this time that he and Jennifer married, and moved to a small city north of Toronto.

He started working on his ph.d. and his wife started on her masters. When she graduated they moved to a town three hours away from us for Jennifer's new job as a crisis social worker. Since being there, they gave birth to two beautiful little boys, William and Samuel. Ryan also worked very hard on his thesis and obtained his PH.D.! Unfortunately, a full time teaching position has not become available yet for Dr. Ryan but fortunately Ryan found that he had inherited the wood working and building gene passed on by my father and has become very good at contributing to supporting his family this way.
Recently, they moved into their very first home that they were able to buy .....a lovely older home , with enough property for their boys and their dog to run around and have lots of fun!

Corey is our third. Oh my, a whole book could be written on Corey alone. A good number of the general population in prison our people with FAS and I can see why. Corey always means well, but never goes about things in the right way. He is extremely impulsive and has a violent temper. This temper has contributed to him being incarcerated three times...mostly assault charges. I spoke of his motorcycle accident but we were also called to the Emergency of the hospital another time. He and a girlfriend had gotten into a fight, they were both intoxicated and she slashed his face open with a knife. At that time there was a restraining order against him in connection with this woman. ( I have learned that restraining orders really don't mean anything to people like Corey and our other daughter Emma, I think it's like that for a lot of people) Since he wasn't suppose to be around her, he walked himself to the hospital where he collapsed on the floor of the emerg. When we arrived, there he was, drunker then a skunk, sleeping it off, with a huge gash from his ear to the middle of his cheek....we stayed for awhile, and then left...there was nothing we could do...later that morning the hospital called again, wanting us to come and get him. That's life with get called upon in these respond and then he's usually out of your life until the next time.
Corey did meet a girl when he was younger...about ten years ago, he was with her for quite a while and they have a son....they are no longer together but we do see our grandson Donovan from time to time.

Corey just bought a sub sandwich shop with some money from the settlement, he's quite proud of himself....we are waiting to see the outcome. He also bought not one but two cars....neither of which does he have a license to drive....but he does anyway....does he get caught, yes....and spent a week in jail ....has he still drives.

In a few weeks he will have his thirtieth birthday.

Lauren is our second daughter. After Lauren tried a year of college, she realized that she really wasn't ready for that but was determined to make it on her she got a job. Not a great job, not her career of choice...but it helps to pay the bills. I know that someday she'd love to return to school , I hope she doesn't give up that dream.....
The year that Lauren was in college she rekindled a relationship she had with a guy she'd known since her early teen years. I think Lauren and Ryan ( yes, another Ryan, and yes it gets confusing sometimes) have been together 7-8 years, and the last few years moved in together. About a year and a half ago they moved into a really nice condo, just perfect for the two of them. I believe that one day they plan on marrying, her dad and I are looking forward to that! You know how moms and dads are.... they like everything tied up pretty with a nice bow! Most of all we just want our girl to be happy, that's the main thing.
Lauren just celebrated her 27th birthday, the day before it was her Ryan's was a birthday extravaganza in our family with Leslie's a few days before that! Lots of birthday cake!
Lauren and I had a tumultuous relationship in her teen was very difficult but thankfully that has changed...we don't always agree but we've learned to get along...I think it's growing into a very good relationship which I'm relieved about....and even though Lauren and Don were at loggerheads a lot in her teens, now, she is her daddy's girl, once again. I think they're both pretty happy about that.

Lauren has seen her biological sister a couple of times since they first met...the last time was just a couple of months ago. It's hard to maintain the relationship since her sister lives in British Columbia, but they still communicate now and then. Lauren has not seen her birth father since she was a teen, and I don't believe she has any intention to do so.

Paul is our third son. Where is he now? Well, Paul is in the Canadian Armed Forces!
He actually surprised us because in his growing up years he wanted to be a fighter pilot...he always talked about it, so we were quite surprised when he enlisted in the army! Actually, this is his second time in the army...the first time he was in the extremely difficult course, one that he was ready to dump a few times...but with encouragement, he completed. I'll never forget the day we went to see his graduation. It was at a military base, in Quebec, we all travelled down and stayed in a hotel . The next day , we were all at the ceremony, very excited. At the end if the ceremony, there was a march past of all the Paul marched past I felt like I was going to burst...I was so excited and proud! Paul had gone through a dark time before he enlisted....he had graduated high school and really didn't know what to do...he'd spend hours down in his room on his computer, gaming....he barely came up for meals! One day we talked...I asked him about his dream of going into the military...he didn't think that it was possible....he had looked into it and because he took Ritalin for a couple of years when he was around eight and nine, the military said it was a no go......unless he got certificates saying he was fine and didn't need the stimulant. I told him that if that's what he really wanted , then I would help him. I took him to different doctors and he received the clearance he needed and was accepted into the military. When we went to visit him after basic training, he was a different young man. He had definitely found his niche.

He was in for his three years and towards the end of that time decided that he'd try civilian life and got out of the military. At this time, he also met a young lady named Sara and just recently they have become engaged! He stayed out of the army for a year and became more and more frustrated...trying several different jobs but none really worked out. He decided to try and get back in the first, there weren't any openings....then there was, but not in the infantry, but rather the artillery! So, once again he enlisted, and went to New Brunswick for artillery basic training. When he graduated he was assigned to a base about six hours away from here. He has indicated that this is where he'll stay til retirement age. I think it's a good fit...I think the year away was he's not as impatient with how things move in the army, he just sits back and smiles.
Recently, since Sara had graduated university, she moved into his place on the base. She hopes to eventually get a teaching position as an elementary school teacher. They have set their wedding date in May of 2015 , just before his 27th birthday.

I think I'll leave this chapter now...there are still four to go!

Next chapter....Ben, Maya, Emma and Megan.

~ Marie

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