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

Follow by Email

Saturday, November 23, 2013


5.0 out of 5 stars Good book well worth reading., November 21, 2013 By Sallye Zilberstein - See all my reviews Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: Fifth Child: The Turbulent Path That Led to Parenting Our Child's Child (Kindle Edition) Even though you know the sad ending of the story, it was still a compelling read and I had trouble putting the book down. Lynn Gassel does a good job of telling a story that is all too common in our times. She is honest about not only her daughter's story but also her own. I thought I was old when I had my children at 35 and 37 years old and I can't imagine doing it again now that I am in my 60's. I have so much respect for grandparents all over that have stepped up to do the job that their own children were incapable of doing, for whatever reason. I would recommend this book to anyone because their story will touch your soul even if your life has taken a different path.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Many of my friends and family have read FIFTH CHILD and sent me glorious comments via e-mail and/or on Facebook. In order to take my book further, I need to have as many reviews as possible on AMAZON.COM and GOODREADS.COM. It's required by other online and walk-in bookstores. If you would be so kind to go to Amazon, type in Fifth Child, click the parenthesis around the number near the stars and click Create Your Own Review...even two words is sufficient, along with a star rating. I would truly appreciate this.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Letting Go

Since my book was published, I've received notes and comments from so many parents, especially moms of addicts, along with grandparents raising their grandchildren because of their child's addiction. It's such a painful place to be; wanting to help your addict child yet not enable. Letting go was the most difficult but most essential lesson I learned. It's not just for people dealing with addicted family members and friends but for dealing with people and challenges in every day life. This piece says it all. The author is unknown.

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring; it means I can't do it for someone else...To let go is not to cut myself off...It's the realization that I can't control another...To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To let go is not to try and change or blame another. I can only change myself. To let go is not to care for, but to care about. To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being. To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality. To let go is not to deny, but to accept. To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment. To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future. To let go is to fear less and love more.

After re-typing these words into my blog, I realize I still have a long way to go to master letting go. With my husband retiring on Friday and entering my daily space; I'd better master it quickly!