Bear N Mom - Our Story
Bear and I
Bear was born and raised in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. Mom (5 years) younger was a life-long resident of the neighboring borough of Aspinwall. Even though their paths could have crossed hundreds of times over 35 years, they met as members of a local CB club in 1978. Bear being an EMT was sponsoring a CPR class which Mom took. Mom went on to become a paramedic in 1981.
Bear was raising three daughters and Mom was raising three sons and a daughter. They became good friends who leant on each other for support with their children's activities. Bear supported the boys and became a troop leader for Rob's Boy Scouts troop and Mom supported all four girls through Girl Scouts.
In 1984, Bear underwent bypass surgery and Mom (with the help of Bear's parents) took over the brood while he was in the hospital. Upon his return from the hospital, Bear was surprised to find that not only had his bed been moved out of his home but his entire family. The arrangement must have suited him cause he stayed on and Bear and Mom were married on March 26, 1990.
All seven of the children were in their teenage years then and it was a real challenge to keep temperments in check, but they soon sounded like all real brothers and sisters with friendly bickering all around. (One more than the Brady Bunch and one less than Eight is Enough. Seven was really plenty.)
Through the years, our lives were intertwined but we never knew how close we were until we combined our families. In Mom's teen years, Bear dated his first wife who lived less than a block from her home. Their paths must have crossed many times but they never knew each other in those days.
Bear had attended the seminary in his younger years only to discover that he did not have the calling and I have always been spiritual but not religious as I liked to explain it. I prayed daily but was not a faithful attendant at masses or the like even though I had been raised in Catholic school. Being taught by the Sisters of St. Francis, Bear and I had many meaningful discussions on theology and the ways of the Catholic Church.
Bear passed away May 11, 2002, leaving behind a legacy of love and harmony that will be felt by his family as we try to live up to his standards and beliefs. Up until then, our seven children had presented us with nine grandchildren.
On March 31, 2008, our youngest son presented us with our youngest granddaugher. We traveled to Maryland in 2009 for her first birthday and this little missy is the spitting image of her grandma at that age.
The next to the oldest son and his wife had a 7 pound 12 ounce bouncing baby boy on January 19, 2010. That gives Bear and 11 grandchildren.
Our story is not unusual and nothing spectacular, but it is ours!! It does prove one thing though that love conquers all.
Life has given me 7 children, 11 grandchildren and a great grandchild. Some bumps and bruises on Life's journey were when my friend and companion and then my baby boy left me behind to go home to God. But, I'm proof you are only as old as you feel and I still work part time. Some days, I feel young and spunky. I've always loved to dance, but that's when the Grandma Moses syndrome sets in. Most days, I don't realize I'm any age because I equate age as just a number. I have earned every line on this face because they give me character and show that I have lived instead of just existing.
June 17, 2012 was the saddest day of my life when I was informed that my youngest son, a navy-man of 18 years had died while on active duty. You can bury a husband and the depression is one that consumes you, but to bury your child takes a different toll.
In February 2013, my great granddaughter was born and I attained the enviable level of great grandma. She like the other grands grows faster than a weed. She is tall like her grandma and a redhead to boot just like my grandson, her father.
My motto is -- "It only takes imagination, yours or mine."
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