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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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

May I Suggest...

I've just come across a wonderful website for parents whose children are battling addiction. It's called "The Addict's Mom"-Sharing Without Shame. It is also for dad's, siblings, grandparents, family and friends who are close to someone with an addiction. It is a place to learn about other families and how they deal with addiction in their lives. It has focus groups, shares poetry, art and feelings. Mostly, it offers support, something families desperately need while dealing with an addicted loved one. Even though my drama no longer exists, I feel a responsibility to share my strength and experience and continue to learn and listen. No one ever knows what life will throw at them.


  1. Thank you Lynne Gassel for suggesting The Addict's Mom. It really is a great resource for anyone suffering from having an addict in the family. I am looking forward to reading your book.

    Duana Wilkins, Executive Director

  2. "The Addict's Mom" website is a growing by leaps and bounds. It makes sense seeing the unfortunate and shocking growth of addiction in this country. I'm just grateful that it's there for us, not only as a sounding board for support but, now, there will be interviews/podcasts to educate and empower us with knowledge.