4. Care for your children. Be there for them.

Chapter Four
Make them laugh.

Well, I made it out alive. I spent 20 years in the Seattle, Everett, WA. area, then in 2001 I moved to Ringgold, GA. to marry a lovely, wonderful woman I met on this thing called the ‘internet.’
We are happy. We love each other. We have no children. I am 61, she is in her mid 50s. We enjoy life and each other. We are best friends. We are not without flaws.


OK, here’s the deal.

If I had children, I can’t now mainly because of age, but had I, they never would have dreaded seeing me as I did my father. Every time I come through the door, they would be happy to see me. I would have made certain that this were the case. Not with gifts or things, but with smiles, hugs, handshakes, and most important of all, kind and encouraging words. They never would have wondered where I was or how to get in contact with me. I never would have avoided their calls or getting back to them. I would have always been there. I wouldn’t have had children because I wanted something to hate. I would love my offspring to the end of the earth.

Through my entire life I have missed having a father. I really don’t know what it’s like to have someone there. Someone to look up to.

My father was never there, nor did he want to be, to take me or my brothers to the ice skating rink, never taken fishing, to the circus, the carnival, the movies, I was taught how to ride a bike by my uncle. My father didn’t teach me how to skip a rock on the lake, my grandmother did. She taught me how to read, tell time, count to ten, write my name, make bamboo pea shooters, how to count money. My grandmother, Gammy, took me fishing, she showed me how to cook an egg, how to make a milkshake from scratch. She taught me how to introduce my self politely, how to make a firm handshake. My school teachers even saw a problem and stepped in. Mr. LaBreck at AJ West Grade School in Aberdeen took me fishing.

I know my father spanked hard, cussed a lot, owned big cars, smoked constantly. He died of cancer.


Listen, if you have children, be a part of their lives. Be in the middle of their lives. Even if it irritates them, be in their lives. In the end, they won’t have memories like I do, and they won’t wish that they had more memories like I wish I had. Be a part of your children’s lives. BE THERE!

If you don’t have children and want to, plan for them. Make plans that go through the roof. Make sure school will be a breeze for them, that they will be at ease, able to learn without being worried about home life as I was. Don’t have children that you want to be successful without setting up a good home for them first. Make sure the person you want to have children with it the right person. Whether you are heterosexual or homosexual or otherwise, prepare for your children. Do bring them into the world without a solid plan for them. They will be left on their own, even if you are around after they are born.

Children need direction, they need firm ground to walk on. They need good solid leaders. They want to follow, give them a substantial path to walk. Please don’t do what my parents did to me. They had me and my brothers before they ever made sure they would last. My father and mother really shouldn’t have had children, much less, gotten married. I believe they rushed into it, accidental pregnancy, then tried to make something out of something not planned. I have to give them credit for trying, but they really should have planned.

Make your children laugh. Teach them how to do things they will learn in school like my grandmother did me. Show them science, show them music, math, art, show them life. Ask them questions. Ask them if they have questions. Be interested in them, their likes, their needs, their wants.

Take them to adopt pets, show them how to take care of them, show them how to walk their dog. Study with them, help them with their math, their spelling, their school play lines. Help them make a costume for the play.

Put really large Band-aids on their ‘ouchees.’ Write the date and your initials on it. Ask them if it hurts often.

When you need to drive somewhere where you can take kids with you, do it. Ask “Do you want to go?” every time you can take them.

Usher them into school, then hide really low in the car when you drop them off and pick them up. Put movie tickets in their school lunch for them and their friends.

Do the right things for your children. Nurture them, cherish them, love them.

Don’t use them as a tool to get back at others or to take out your ire of your ex-spouse on them. Don’t use them as a tool. Children are not tools any more than you are. My brothers and I were used as tools in the divorce. It’s a hateful thing to do.

If they are bullied at school, step in before it’s too late and you have to arrange a funeral. Contact the bullies parents, and if they are receptive, arrange a meeting with them, their child, you, and your child. Talk it out. Get the children to discuss common likes and dislikes.

Above all, do the right thing. Make your kids remember you long after you have gone. Long after they have left the nest. Don’t wait till they come to you to ask why. Don’t give them cause to ask why.

Be the coolest person your child knows. Let them tell you, “OK, enough, I get it.”


What you do for them will be what they teach their children. Don’t hand them a bowl of poison if you went through terrible times as a child. Break the cycle of lifelong practices and trends that lead to heartache and failure. Change what you carry from your parents that are damaging. The more generations that good generations are made during, the more good in the end will be done.

Your children, yours, can be the new light on the horizon. They can be the ones who bring about change for a nation. It can and does happen.

What ever you do, before you have children, plan to have them. Bring them into a world they can handle, not one that they will have to struggle in just to be happy. What you do for them before they come into the world can be the most important things you will ever do for them. Don’t forget that.

Plan for your children. Love them.
Don’t start something you know nothing about that someone’s life hinges upon and depends upon.


Honor your children.
Uplift them.
Make sure you are able to pass along the information and knowledge you have collected through your life.
We can all benefit from the experience of others.
Always uplift them, congratulate them on their accomplishments.


Speak to your children.
Stay connected.

Talk to them about their life as they grow.
Help them understand that there is much they can do for themselves and for others.


Care for your children.
Be there for them.

Back their talents, support their projects.
Help them attain goals they seek to attain.


I had nearly none of this support in my life from my parents. My grandmother provided me with guidance until her passing in 1967. I was just 13 years old. I had to do the rest on my own. I feel that I did well considering the emptiness I had as a kid.

Do these things for your children. Above all, accept and support them. Validate them. Otherwise, why would you bring a child into the world?


There is much more that I could have included in this account, but at the moment, there is much I do not remember or can’t remember. Whatever the case, these are the events as I remember them and how the events that I wasn’t present to see would dictate the outcome. I really wish much of it were not so, but that’s long gone and written, never to be changed.

My father and mother now are gone, passed away. I wish that so much had been different for them. It seems that they may not really have been happy from the start. I’ve never actually seen any wedding photos of either of them.

Today, I no longer feel the weight of expecting a Birthday Card with a nasty message or greeting to show up in January from Poulsbo, WA. I no longer feel bad about blocking my father on Facebook. His account still sits there. I no longer have to plan not to go to my hometown when I visit Washington state again because I wish to avoid the stress, to make sure nothing terrible occurs if I were to visit my father. I have never trusted him to be kind to me or anyone I may bring with me when I visit with him. I took a friend from Everett with me many years ago to visit him. He was nasty to both of us. I could never trust him to be kind.

Yes, as much as I enjoy the relief, I am not fond of knowing why I am now free. I still have not received a formal funeral notice or declaration of death.

I’m just glad that I turned out fine and never ended up in prison or dead.

Life is good, thanks for reading,
Kelly J.


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