There were a lot of ups and downs for us.
We lived in Parkland until I retired with a disability in October of 1992. During the years, I had had a series of Knee surgeries. Previous to that, I had injured my left knee while fighting a brush fire, and subsequently falling off of ladder. I spent two months on disability in April and May that year, then light duty until October. In November, I had another surgery, but after the surgery, the knee became infected. This required surgery to repair, and the knee was “toast” after that. This was the final straw and I ended up with a line of duty disability.
At the end of my disability a commissioner sought to discredit me, but after several months of investigation, I was cleared.
We spent a lot of time together, skiing and I would ride motorcycles (enduro and trials). I can remember that I had to be more aware of Terry when doing these, cause I was kinda aggressive in both sports. When we were together, I had a tendency to push Terry into areas she was not comfortable with. Several times, I had to “come back” and be there for her and help avoid a “meltdown”.
It was a joy and a pain to watch our kids grow.
Chris seemed to be the more compliant of the two (or, maybe he just pulled the wool over our eyes). It was fun watching him play in his bands, Royal Rangers, church, and growing up.
I remember he would always want, and get, Teen Age Mutant Turtles figurines. He was always taking them apart, and putting them back together. But, each time, he would “baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”. One day, at church (Parkland First Baptist), I was helping Pastor Buddy dig out a trench to install a side sewer. Pastor Buddy and I were in the trenches and Chris was playing in the dirt. Chris looked down at Pastor Buddy, and proceeded to ask him with childlike faith – “Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior”.
Lesley was a joy in all ways. But, I think God used her to teach us patience, and wisdom. And, he succeeded. Today, I am so proud of both my kids. It is very special to see Lesley today, after all that she has been through.
I remember that one day, after church, I was holding Lesley’s hand. All of a sudden, I noticed she wasn’t there. I looked around, and she was nowhere to be found. So, the church organized a search party. We looked everywhere in that building, and Lesley was not to be found. Other members of the church were praying by now. All of a sudden one of the ladies of the church drove up to us in the parking lot with Lesley. She had wandered down the busy street, and the lady saw her in the front yard, playing on a set of swings, with some other kids in the neighborhood.
Lesley was quite the escape artist. While this didn’t happen frequently, another time she escaped up the stairs in the Tacoma Dome. Again, searching, searching, …. Oh, there she is with that nice security guard.
God had (and has) a plan for my kids. He has given us many visions of them, in their success, and their life. One time, when we were having a particulary difficult time, I was at church. While preparing for service, we gathered as a team to pray. Suddenly, the Pastor stopped, and said “Everybody, Les needs prayer right now”. So, they entered into warfare prayer over me. It was during that prayer that a lady that was known for prophecy came up to me. “I have a word for you from God. God says that there are many paths in life. No matter what path your children take, whether it is right, or left, “I am there with them”, says the Lord”.
This has been fulfilled many times over in the lives of our children and in our family, in general.
What would a journal entry about family be without the rest of our family.
I have to say that the entire family is TOTALLY Awesome!
Terry’s mom and Bill did got divorced, but Bill still remained in her life. Terry and her mom got to grow closer together as the years continued on. In 2011, when Leone passed, Terry was able to be by her side and she celebrated her passing with her Brothers and Sister-in-law. She visited her Dad (Ross) and step mom (Marianne) and was able to keep close and in touch with them while they lived in Everett.
Through out all the years, we have remained close to Steve, (his wife) Terry, and Mark. I could see the love that Terry had for Steve. But, the distance and her health often kept us from getting together. Several times, when we had doctor’s visits in Seattle, we would arrange a stop over to see them, and her niece (Gina).
On my side, Terry was loved and always welcome by my Mom and Dad. For some reason, Terry was concerned about mom. But, they loved each other. We would often get together in Kent with them, and at the Ocean House. Just before Mom passed, they took us on a cruise in the Virgin Islands. Mom, Dad, Larry, Jan, Renee, Dave, Terry, and I all were there together. Mom and Terry grew closer as they saw each other more. On August 24, 1996, mom went home to be with the Lord. Mom had suffered greatly from Asthma and other medical problems. One day, while working at the Historical Society, she suffered a severe attack, and she didn’t survive. This was devastating to me, but Terry stood by my side and loved me in a way that only she could do.
I have to say that my Brother, Sister, and I are as close as any family can be. And, Terry was as close to them as I am. She loved Larry, Jan, Angela, Shawn (and his family), Renee, Dave, (and her family). Whenever we got together it as a fun, family time.
After mom passed, Dad was left alone (and now I seem to be following his footsteps). We tried to get to see dad as frequently as we could, but I have to admit that I busied myself and we didn’t get to see him as often as we should. I can remember reading his journal and there was a note in there about how much he wished we would see him more often. That hurts. I regret that. Today, God is working on me in this area and I know that he wants me to be there more for my kids and grand kids.
We lost dad on November 21, 2008. After suffering a series of falls, he ended up in the hospital, and I got to be with him in his last days. It turns out that he had Parkinson’s, and that disease, along with pneumonia took him home to be with the Lord. I was blessed that I was able to be there for him in those last days. We brought him home with hospice and I was able to be by his side during those last days. My aunt Carol (mom’s sister) was there with me the whole time. Bob (mom’s brother) was there the day he passed. Did I mention how awesome our family is?