JEL INEK JOURNAL
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GRANDPA 2.0 Celebrating Exciting Family EventsThis Spring
My dad served in the military while I was growing up and was frequently away from home. This meant that while he was leading a group of soldiers, my mom was the commanding officer of our household. She took on the role with pride and handily kept the house running smoothly and us kids in order. When my father would come back, he always marveled at her ability to keep a harmonious home. Now, 88 years old and confined to a wheelchair, my mom lives in Jacksonville, Florida. She’s a doting grandmother of eight children and a great-grandmother to eight more. Just in time for Mother’s Day, this incredibly strong mother and grandmother is going to be a great-grandma all over again. As readers may remember from our January newsletter, my daughter Sydney and her husband Kelan will welcome their second daughter into this world in mid-May. Their eldest child, Louisa, made me and my wife grandparents when she came into the world nearly two years ago in October of 2017. We are ecstatic to welcome the newest little one into our family. While we anxiously await her arrival, Sydney and Kelan are keeping us guessing at names. We can’t even pop into her nursery because they fear we will catch a clue in the decorations! I am so proud of the way Sydney has handled becoming a mother and the way she and Kelan continue to raise Louisa. The role came very naturally to her, and watching her take on motherhood with gusto is heartwarming. As the father of two daughters, it’s been special for me to watch the relationship between Sydney and her older sister Amanda transform. Amanda teaches kids with profound disabilities. The love and care she has for these children, who have been dealt some of the hardest hands life can deal, is absolute. In fact, whenever I begin to think about all the issues I have, I think about the struggles these young children have already lived through in their short lives, and I remember to be grateful for the life I have. As a child development expert, Amanda has been able to give Sydney advice on what is normal for a child Louisa’s age to do. Plus, Amanda thoroughly loves being an aunt to her niece. Obligation to help Sydney isn’t the reason for Amanda’s attentiveness; she genuinely wants to be there for Sydney, Kelan, and Louisa.
When she becomes an aunt again this May, Amanda will be every bit as doting as she is with Louisa. Since Sydney and her family moved to Richmond, about an hour and a half away from all of us, Amanda has missed the time she used to spend with her niece. My wife and I miss it, too! But we all relish every opportunity we get to spend time together.
Amanda has her own exciting news to celebrate this spring. She is engaged and will marry her fiance, Sean, on Jan. 4, 2020! He is a Marine reservist,
studying abroad for his MBA. So, while we prepare for a new baby, we are also in wedding-planning mode making decisions on the venue, dress, catering, cake, and everything else in between. My wife and I are thrilled to welcome so many new members to our family. Whether they are in the Marines, working on their master’s degree and marrying our daughter, or they are just being born and becoming our second granddaughter, we already love what they will add to our family.
— H. Charles Jelinek, Jr., DDS
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