Cornelius joined us in 1973. I had become a mother! We were now a family! And I was happy.

I had always loved children and had, in fact, wanted to be a school teacher. Now I had a child of my own to raise and to help shape. I hoped he would become creative like Wes and me were. I knew the joys that creativity can bring and hoped he would find the same.

I also hoped he would be a reader. Reading, too, can open a world of possibilities, including good marks at school. When he was five months old, I strapped him to my back and we took the bus downtown to buy his first book.

As a toddler, there were times I sat him on my lap at the kitchen table, sketching for him, telling him about the picture I was drawing. Before long he took the pencil and tried to make his own pictures.

Although I enrolled him in a wide variety of classes over the years—sports, music, and arts—I tried to leave him lots of time to do his own thing. I believe in the importance of giving a child the time and freedom to amuse themselves without direction and to use their imagination to follow their own interest.

From when he was young, Cornelius joined Wes and me on our photography outings. His pictures started turning out quite well at an early age. As a teen, he turned to videography. In high school he often preferred doing his assignments using video rather than writing them. He was fortunate to have teachers who didn’t mind.

When home computers came in, starting with the Vic 20, both Cornelius and Wes got interested—not only playing the games, but also programming.

For Wes, the knowledge he gained led to jobs teaching computer courses at night school, writing computer manuals, and doing data base programming for clients—work he’s till doing today at age seventy-six. As an adult, Cornelius became a web designer, working with his wife Jeannette at his side as graphic artist.

What was I doing while Wes and Cornelius played with computers? I happily spent my spare time crocheting, knitting, doing needlepoint and crosstitch. These helped me relax during busy days. They also helped me through the frequent depressions I faced. But I think the best times I remember are the hours I spent in the darkroom making black and white enlargements.

What a gift God gave me! A husband and a son, and all three of us with activities that fulfilled us.

We must never take our life for granted. When we get older and we’re not as well as we once were, we can look back and be grateful for a happy past.

Thank you, God!

“This has been part 9 of my series My Journey from Patient to Leader. Read part 10: Everything Changed