My Extended Family
By Amy Markle
It seems like yesterday all the kids where little and needed me all the time. Now Francesca is married, with children, Kaitlin is living on her own with her daughter, and JJ and April live with them. I feel like it was only the other day we were all crowding around the dinner table having a nice family meal, while John their father was off who knows where, drunk, high, spending money he didn’t really have to even spend. I stop and think how these kids ever made it all these years before without us. Us being myself and their uncle Scott, we had been together five years by then and I knew this was the beginning of something wonderful. If only I had known how much it would affect and change my life and theirs. I guess it happened gradually, the kids coming over for dinner, needing winter clothes, taking showers at my house and I always wondered where their father was. Then I found out, John was an alcoholic, drug addict who somehow had custody of these wonderful kids. I guess, I should have known how bad it was by how the kids acted but I didn’t. I hadn’t known abuse like that, I was from a place where we had parents and had dinner together, not 14 year old Frankie (Francesca) going into the bar and dragging her father out, which ended up being the event that finally caused me to go and file for full custody of these kids. It was the best choice I could have ever made. I remember filing the papers and thinking , I am either going to get an irate phone call from John acting like he cares, telling me I will never win, or he will say nothing and I will end up with these wonderful kids as my own. As I sat there in the court building filing the papers it occurred to me just how much help and love and parenting these kids where going to need and how happy I was to do it. But I should of known that the happiness was not going to last. It appeared to be a normal day August 18, 2009, the kids had just...
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