Editor’s Letter: Family Matters

Blink, and they’re walking. Blink again, and they are out of the house. As parents we know this, and now as an empty nester, I of course miss being in charge of deliverables for my family. However, back in 2010, when I’m sure I was complaining about my workload to a walking buddy du jour, the kids were just spreading their wings, joining sports teams, testing out fashion trends and growing into thoughtful humans. Their dad and I created email accounts for them so we could send them little notes, photos and videos of their lives as we were living day-to-day life.

The plan was to give it to them when they graduated from high school. As life happens, we got distracted, and stopped. Assuming I lost the passwords, I just added the whole experience to the “mom fail list.” However, motivated by writing this letter, I dug deep, dealt with the password anxiety and gained access to their accounts while I was FaceTiming my youngest for moral support. Once we got into the accounts we laughed, cried and laughed as the forgotten moments flooded back. Here are a couple:

Subject: Glee Finale
Sat, May 28, 2011
We went to the Kuhns [favorite neighbors] and pretended we hadn’t seen the “Glee” finale the night
before because they recorded it so we could all watch it together. We showed up with Harmony take out, and they also played the episode where Sue’s sister dies. We all cried. Best show ever.

Subject: Nice Try!
Sun, June 5, 2011
Hey, beauty, today you declared our “random day” would be a pedicure for me. You had me sit downstairs and spilled the first big bowl of warm water with lavender. No biggie, we mopped it up and started over. Afterwards you said, “You might need a professional to deal with your heels, not a 9-year-old.” I can’t believe what a capable little lady you are becoming. Oh and I KNOW you want a phone. A pedicure won’t change my mind.

Time has moved on and our little cozy cocoon we created on Reed Blvd is inhabited by another family. Even though we all live under separate roofs, I’m so grateful for that phase and I realize how lucky we are to have had a solid foundation, others aren’t so fortunate. Which brings up an important issue that is not as easy to talk about — homelessness.

We certainly aren’t the only community grappling with the push and pull of emotions as we walk past
the sudden emergence of an escapement or recognize the same guy or gal at the bus stop, who is obviously living on the streets.

In this issue, which focuses on family matters from summer camps (sign up now!) to a trip to
Australia in search of a frog, we also dive into more serious topics — elder care and unhoused family
members. A couple months ago, when Kevin F. Adler was walking by our old offices on Bridgeway,
he popped in to tell us he had just written a book. We are a prolific county when it comes to books, so
I wasn’t too excited. However, his enthusiasm and story about how his uncle was able to get off the
streets and back with his family was contagious. I think you’ll agree when you read the story of why he wrote his book on page 30. His account is followed by Kirsten Jones Neff’s first of two articles on the topic, this one focuses on three people who were able to find their way (with help from organizations)
off the streets.

It’s a complicated topic, but at the end of the day, we’re talking about our kids, parents, brothers and
sisters who are sleeping on the streets, and we are honored to share the stories of individuals and
positive strides our community is making and committing to address this issue. Stay tuned.

See our latest issue here: