Tomorrow, my youngest child turns 18 years old. My, how time flies! It is such a privilege to raise her and I count her as one of my dearest friends.

As I have grieved the death of my husband, there are times I forget that our children lost their father. When he passed, we had a 15 year old at home and an older child who had married and lived nearby. I knew what it was like to be a widow, but didn’t have any idea how it was like to be “half an orphan”, as they put it. (Note-I do now, though, but not at that young age). It just tears me apart thinking about what those young people have gone through.

Tonight’s short post is to express my deep appreciation to the men in our family’s world who help fill the void in my children’s world. One taught my teen how to drive on the freeway, accompanied her on a multi-day church youth trip, attended her sporting events and is a listening ear for her when Mom gets very intense. Another included kiddo in astronomy and geology experiences and heckles her. Still another, a former high school counselor, visits with her and attends school events. There are several others who I know are “keeping an eye on the McCandless family” to make sure things are going well. These men do not have to do this, but what a difference they are making by being part of our family’s world. Thank you.