The Gadfly: Family Matters
Grandson Kevin Aliff has just celebrated his 21st birthday. Kevin, who just yesterday came to my belt buckle, is now a strapping 6-foot-plus man well on his way as a sheet metal expert at Tinker Air Force Base. Kevin's a trained gunsmith, an excellent shot and a former top airgun competitor who has competed all over the country. Daughter Shelli homeschooled Kevin, who moved on to the Francis Tuttle VoTech Center for his sheet metal training. Kevin has his eyes on Justine, a delightful young lady, and she has her eyes on Kevin.
Grandson Mike Stuck just graduated cume laude from Southern Nazarene University with a bachelor's degree in organizational management. He previously earned his associate's degree from Rose State College. We were proud to celebrate the occasion with Mike's wife and daughter, mother and father, sisters, brother and mother-in-law, and a close friend with his two children. A good cheering section.
Grandson Colby Stuck is making the transition from hands-on-everything home builder to supervisor. Colby's a Seabee veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and has a special friend in Brianna.
Granddaughters Courtney and Faye Anderson continue their work at Sienna, a care facility in Midwest City. Courtney works with dietary matters, Faye is a certified nursing assistant. Courtney's special friend is Anthony, Faye's special friend is Taylor.
Daughter Shelli continues her near-frenetic lifestyle; she's heavily involved in her church, knits "wheelchair shawls" and other items, and prowls resale stores regularly. She also helps husband Howard conduct concealed carry classes (he's a certified instructor). She and her sister have been an immense help as we've coped with Ann's mother's infirmities.
Daughter Cheryl continues as a top bookkeeper for an Oklahoma City firm that handles accounting matters for restaurant chains.
Sister Donna and husband Doug Dickerson are in their 62nd year of marriage and look forward to welcoming their entire clan over the Christmas holidays.
Sister Kaye and husband Dick Halter have been married almost as long as Donna and Doug. They are frequent visitors to Tunica, Mississippi.
Ann and I mark 50 years in February. Little did Ann know, back in 1962, that "For better or worse" would result in her being my nurse; 2011 has not been friendly, with open heart surgery in July leading to almost six months of problems, some of them related to side effects of all the medications...and we're still dealing with irksome side effects. The cost of my care thus far, including three hospitalizations, is somewhere north of $320,000. Incredible.