So, before this blog is entirely forgotten, I'll post about the one subject on which no research is needed--my family! And at this time one member in particular, who gives so much of herself to others day in and day out: my sister Patti!
We grew up together in Grand Island, New York with our two other brothers and, of course, Mom (Gail) and Dad (John) Fleming. Patti (at left in high school) was special as the "baby sister," but she didn't let it go to her head too often--she just suffused our family with her sweet glow! Mom and Dad moved to Jacksonville, Florida (where Mom grew up) in the mid-80s, and Patti followed a few years later. There she met an exceptional gentleman named Jason, and they were married. Not long after that, they were blessed with a son, Jonathan, who's now a fine young man working his way through college. In recent years Patti has shared countless sewing and craft-making secrets, as well as whimsical thoughts and pearls of wisdom, on her blog It's a Wonderful . . .
This sounds like a "happily ever after" story, and in a way it is--but only part of it. The other part consists of Patti's tireless efforts for people outside her home. She works at the Women’s Help Center in Jacksonville, providing pregnancy tests and sonograms, counseling in favor of life and against abortion, and generally offering guidance and support to women and couples facing the most important choices in their lives.
Most important, she--with Jason's tireless help--constitutes Mom and Dad's lifeline in their later years. Patti helps nurse them through health challenges and drives back and forth to hospitals and doctor's offices. She and Jason have put in many hours keeping Mom and Dad's computer up and running so they can stay connected with the digitized members of the family. Other errands and chores Patti and Jason have done for Mom and Dad are countless, and all without a moment's hesitation. I and my brothers, who live too far away to provide that support, only wish we could pitch in more and lighten their load. For now, I can at least pay them a little tribute in a public place and express our thanks for all that they do to help Mom and Dad (and others) live "happily ever after"!
Patti today in downtown Jacksonville
Jason with our grandson Liam