We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Excerpt from Chapter: RAISING BRADY

This chapter could have been called “Spoiling Brady” because that’s one grandparent trait we’ve had difficulty abandoning. As much as we don’t want to spoil him, we’ve lost the battle many times, which our grown kids are only too happy to remind us.

With all Brady’s been through, we wanted to afford him as much pleasure as possible. To Brady, like many boys, that meant anything with wheels. It began at two years old with fire trucks and police cars. We spent our weekends, with Brady in tow, visiting local fire and police stations (he knew the firefighters by name) and to local fairs where fire engines and police motorcycles were on display. We couldn’t do enough for him, most likely overcompensating, because Jaime wasn’t there.
When Brady added autos and racecars to his repertoire on wheels, his collection totaled at least five hundred cars. He knows where every car came from and knows if one is missing.    

“When I grow up, I want to make billions and trillions of dollars!” Brady exclaimed.  “I want seven Ferrari’s and each one will be a different color for each day,” he confidently stated. “That way, if one breaks, I’ll go to the next one.”  Maybe he should raise us!  

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