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Oct. 18, 2016
“Happiness is very hard to find.” said Lorraine, my step-sister. She is dressed in slacks, a tasteful shirt and sweater. Her short curly, silver white hair in perfect order. She has a smile on her face that plumps up her cheeks and makes her look like Mrs. Claus. “I am very happy with my life now, but it hasn’t always been that way. It took me a long time to find my happy.” She went on to tell me about her early years, things that I had not heard before.
Lorraine was born in England, to an American Serviceman and an English Lady. She spent her first 6 years there with her younger brother Matthew. Her father was then stationed back in the states, and they moved to Riverside, CA, where her mother and father got a divorce. She and her brother stayed with their mother. Lorraine sighed and said “I hated it there. It was soo dang HOT, I had a hard time making friends, because, they thought I was snooty, I wasn’t, I was just English, and I missed my daddy terribly, he was the only one that played with us, mother was always too busy.”
The next big thing to happen in Lorraine’s life was joining the Mormon Church. Lorraine was about 14 when her mother introduced her to some her friends who were Mormon, they went to the house several times and talked to them about joining the church. Her mother was hesitant because she didn’t want to give up drinking. They invited her to the church to see if she would like it. “I really wanted my mother to join with me. But it was not to be. In retro-spect it was probably the best thing I did.” She said bitter sweetly.
Lorraine’s mother died in 1971(suicide), which devastated both Lorraine and her brother. Matt went to live in Seattle, WA, with his father and my mother, Lorraine decided to stay with friends and finish High School.
Lorraine and I didn’t meet until April of 1972. When she came to San Francisco to meet her new nephew, Christopher. It was a short visit, but I remember Lorraine as not being a very happy person.
After her graduation, Lorraine also moved to Seattle, WA and lived with “our family”, while she went to college. It wasn’t long after that, I found myself living with “our family” also. Lorraine and I shared, “her bedroom” for a very short time, and I remember thinking to myself “What a Brat”! I was told that, “You cannot use spray deodorant or hair spray in My bedroom, because I don’t want the film all over My furniture”!
Lorraine worked for the EPA as a student, and went on to continue to work for the government in different capasities, from SSI to where she retired at the GSA Office in Auburn, WA, in 2015.
Lorraine met Glen at one of the many church functions she attended. He finally asked her to marry him and she said yes, “Because he was the only one to ask me, and I was afraid of becoming an “old maid”. They had two boys, Joseph, born in 1979 and Brian, born in 1981. The boys were the joy in Lorraine’s life. There was not much other joy, Glen became abusive to her, and both boys. She did not find out until later that he was expecially abusive to the boys while she was at work. They blamed it on the Diabetes that Glen suffered from, but I am sure it was more than that. No matter how bad things were, Lorraine always had a smile and kind words for everyone around. Lorraine said, “I don’t know why I stayed with Glen, I realized later that I was to learn from the experience, because that is what God wants us to do because it will make us stronger.” Glen died in 1999 from complications of the diabetes.
Lorraine met Greg in 1999 and they were married in 2000. “He is the love of my life and now I know why God made us wait for each other, so that we would appreciate what true love and happiness is.” Not that they didn’t have obstucals to overcome, but they were willing to work on them, together.
Despite their upbringing in the Mormon Church neither boys shared their mothers love for the faith, both turned to drugs, and Brain died of an accidental overdose. Six months after Brian’s death Lorraine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She had surgery, then chemo. The Oncologist told her that with the chemo she would start losing her hair in about 17-18 days. “Right on time,” she starts, “I’m in the shower one morning, without my glasses, suddenly I see all this black stuff all over the shower, I started screaming for Greg, what is it?” He replied, a little amused, “It’s your hair sweety,” he continued “It’s time to go to the wig shop.” Something she had dreaded, so off to the wig shop they go, they were so nice, they took her to the backroom, which is very private, and proceeded to start shaving her head. She kept thinking to herself, “Greg, you better get the car to the back door, cause I’m Not going to make it, and you’re going to be taking me out feet first!” She finally had the courage to look in the mirror, without her glasses, mind you. She chuckles, all she can see is the outline of a head with these two ears sticking out, and she blurted, “Oh my God it’s Yoda!” Everything was fine after that. She had found the humor in losing her hair. That type of experience is what Lorraine takes to other women that are facing the same situation, in hope that her experience can help them get through theirs.
Lorraine and Greg have retired and built their dream home in Bonnie Lake, WA. They took great pains in building, designing and decorating their home, so that it is Christ Centered. That means that thru out their house you have the feeling that Christ helped build this home, when people come to visit they will feel the love that abounds there. They certainly have achieved what they were looking for. Upon entering Lorraine’s beautiful home you feel as though you have been wrapped in a warm blanket, on a cold winter morning. Love, happiness, and peace are abundant with these two people, the likes of which I hope to find before the end of my days. I love watching them in the kitchen after a wonderful meal, it is like a ballet, each knowing what the others move will be and never getting into each other’s way.
Lorraine has many hobbies, knitting, sewing, painting, which she learned at the YMCA, she does water aerobics, not including the many activities that she does with the church. She and Greg host out of town decons and other officials of the church. They have a neighborhood cookout in July.
I think that the activity that Lorraine and Greg derive the most joy from in Family History. In which they research families through cencius, birth, death, marriage certificates. They search tirelessly on computers pulling from here and there information to find lost members of families. Once they have the information they take it to the church and thru a ceremony bind the lost to their families forever. Lorraine says she gets the best feeling when she has found a baby that maybe was only on one cencus taking, and returns that baby to its family. Lorraine said, with a waver in her voice, “I can just hear that baby saying to me, Thank You for returning me to my family.”
Through Lorraine I have learned that happiness doesn’t just happen you have to make it happen. Family is always family no matter how long it has been. Trust in the Lord, He would not lead you astray. Family doesn’t always mean blood.
2than that. No matter how bad things were, Lorraine always had a smile and kind words for everyone around. Lorraine said, “I don’t know why I stayed with Glen, I realized later that I was to learn from the experience, because that is what God wants us to do because it will make us stronger.” Glen died in 1999 from complications of the diabetes.
Despite their upbringing in the Mormon Church neither boys shared their mothers love for the faith, both turned to drugs, and Brain died of an accidental overdose. Six months after Brian’s death Lorraine was diag