For the love of family

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Siblings Gary, Cheryl and Ted with their mother, Grace Harriet Patricia Frances McGraw Kergan. My siblings: Beverly, Linda and me, front row; Vince, Susan, Angela and Mike, back row

          Ted and Gary Kergan lost their father the day after Ted was born. That loss was the glue that bound the brothers together. Gary, as the older brother, assumed the role of Ted’s “protector.” Both helped their mom, Grace Harriet Patricia Frances McGraw Kergan, who supported their household as a seamstress. When Gary went missing, Ted stepped into an overwhelming new existence. He was now at the helm of their family and their business, while trying to find out what really happened to Gary. That family included Gary’s wife, Susie, and their 11-year-old son, Wade.

         I lost my baby sister, Angela, two weeks after she gave birth to her second daughter. She suffered a fatal stroke. Angela also left behind a 2-year-old. After her funeral, my mother and father stepped into a new overwhelming existence. Then in their seventies, they took the 2-week-old baby home with them. Today, that baby is almost 14 and still lives with my mother part-time and with one of my sisters and her husband. My 16-year-old niece is being reared by another sister and her husband. Everyone in my large family rallied with one goal: that our nieces know there is plenty of love all around them. We feel Angela’s presence through these two beautiful girls.

         So many times, during emergencies, family members step up and do what they have to do, no matter what the personal and financial costs.

How far would you go?

Chris Blackwood