Monday, February 2, 2009


There are several reasons I love February,  but one of the most important reasons is that February 14, 1965, my sisters and I were "adopted" by a couple named Helen and Les. I have shared this story numerous times on my blog but to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing in February, I will share it again.

My father died in May 1963 and then in August of 1964 my mother and oldest sister entered the hospital after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. When my mother entered the hospital, the County decided my sisters and I (who were each under the age of 18) could not live in the house without adult supervision, so they sent people from the County who came to our house and took us to a place that was a step below Juvenile Hall. It was probably the scariest time in my life--but at least my sisters and I were together. Finally a neighbor and friend of my mom's came and took us and we lived with her and her children for a few months. My mother was in "isolation" and I can still remember going to the hospital to "visit". She would come out on the balcony and we would wave to her. I was 13 and I sure loved her and missed her very much. She died in December 1964. That's when the neighbor we were staying with decided she couldn't keep us any more. We went to live with my sister's boyfriend's family. My mother had brothers and sisters who were willing to take one of us, but none were willing to take all 6. At Christmas time we went to visit with Helen and Les. They were so sweet and I loved them right away. After filing papers with the County, it was finally arranged and on February 14, 1965, we moved in with Helen and Les. 

So for my sisters and me Valentines Day is not only about our sweethearts, but it is also a time for us to celebrate the lives of  two of the sweetest, most giving people we have ever known.

With that in mind I have decided to try and focus this whole month on things I love. Starting tomorrow, each day (except Sundays) I will pick a letter and write about 10 things that I love that begin with that letter.


JustRandi said...

I still love that story!!
And what a sweet idea, to write about things you love. I can't wait!

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

Every time you write a bit about Helen & Les my heart is touched. How grateful you must be to them for keeping the family together.

You sure have taken the adversity in your life and grown from the whole experience instead of withering away from it.

What an example you are to me. I look forward to you upcoming posts.


chellie said...

I love that story. I think I tear up every time you share a piece of your heart.
I too love February, but your reasons are much more meaningful. I can't wait to read your love posts. :)

glittersmama said...

I had not heard this story before. Thank you for sharing it again.

Heffalump said...

I never knew all those details either! Thanks for posting the story again!

txmommy said...

what a fun idea, I can't wait to read them :)

Sheri said...

That is a great story and the first time I have heard it. It is the best that it was on the holiday meant to celebrate love!! That is true love!

Nancy Face said...

What wonderful, amazing people Helen and Les must have been! :)

I love your idea of posting about things you love each day in February! It's one of my favorite months! :)

Mel said...

Oh Yvonne, thanks for posting this. I've heard bits and pieces of the story before. I'm so touched by the generosity of these people. Truly, you have grown from the experience. I'm sure its a big part of who you are today and I truly admire you. I look forward to hearing more about why you love FEB.

Tonya said...

I've heard that story but I could read it over and over. I love it.

What a great idea you have. I can't wait to read all about the things you love. I can guess what one of the A's is going to be. HeHe.

Corrine said...

what a sweet and wonderful story.

you up to the writing every day challenge? :) how fun can't wait to read them.

Yvonne said...

justrandi: Thanks. You are always so kind--I'm looking forward to thinking about all the things I love.

sheila: I am so grateful for them. I cannot imagine anyone doing that.

Thank you for being so sweet.

chellie: Thanks for being such a wonderful friend and always so sweet.

glittersmama: I always worry that re-telling a story will bore people, but it truly is such a wonderful memory for me--my sisters and I were truly blessed that these people came into our lives and opened up their home.

heffalump; Thanks for caring, heffalump. I appreciate it.

txmommy: It will be a great exercise for me to be reminded of everything I love.

sheri: We always thought it was so wonderful that it was Valentine's Day.

nancyface: They were truly amazing people--I have never met anyone quite like them. We really were blessed.

You have a couple of pretty great reasons to love February ; )

mel: I have always been amazed by their generosity, too--especially when I had teeenagers. I cannot imagine opening up my home to 6 teenage girls ranging in age from 9 to 19 (my sister, Carol, who was in the hospital turned 19)

tonya: Thank you, sweetie. You are so right--one of the A things will be fairly easy ; )

corrine: I fretted and fretted about doing it every day, but I think I can do it.

sweetpea said...

I haven't heard that story, and I'm so glad you shared it again. What a sweet month February is for you--enjoy it!

annie said...

I ♥ February too!

Jess said...

This is awesome. I can't wait to read everyday about something you love. Looking forward to it.

Jodi said...

That is such a touching story. I love Helen and Les too! What an awesome couple!

aurora said...

That story is so sweet. ♥ I am so thankful for big-hearted people!
I am excited for your love posts. Yay!

No Cool Story said...

YAY for awesome people like Helen and Les.

I love this story. Thanks Yvonne.

PJ said...

I love reading about this part of your life. I often wonder if I could be so selfless, to take in such a family. Helen and Les were amazing.

Magirk said...

Yvonne, thanks for doing all these each day. I've read them all so far, but I'm going to comment here because I don't have a lot of time right now! (twin 2-year-olds, BAH!)

I know I don't get over here every day, but I wanted you to know that you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing your life story - and ALL your stories and experiences! I love to hear how other people have 'triumphed' amongst life's little challenges - it gives me so much hope!

You have such a grateful spirit and heart, I love to read about the things you are grateful for, and the things you love. It's fun to feel of your love for your family and friends, and for all the big and little things about life that you adore and enjoy.

Best wishes getting through this tough time with the economy! It certainly is a challenge, and I hope you and your family will be blessed.

I'm so glad that you blog! We would be missing a beautiful, kind, thoughtful, loving approach to life if it weren't for your blog, and for YOU.

Thanks again. ;-)

aubrey said...

yvonne, what a bittersweet story! i love that you were adopted ON valentine's day. what a lovely thing to remember!

Millie said...

Yvonne, wow, what a story. I'm so sorry about your parents. But it's so great that you found a new home where you were happy. You have such a great spirit.

Melissa said...

I love reading your story!! I think it's so fantastic that this family was willing to take you in!!!