As a mother of four (Larry Jr., Larryn, Danielle, and Eryn), mom and dad were instrumental in who we are today. She was what is known now as a stay-at-home mom who every day made sure we had lunch money or lunches made. A mother who made sure we made it to every type of practice or game any of us were participating in. Who also supported us in band, chorus, soccer, basketball, college, and active Army service. She carried this support through to her and dad’s grandchildren and will continue down to the great grandchildren.
Mom and dad have seven grandchildren, Wayne and Kayla Gray, Bree McGrath, Maia Coleman, Kaity and Luke Bowling, and Emylee Christie. For the past 25 plus years, mom and dad have stayed very involved in their grandchildren’s lives. It didn’t matter whether they were moving from state to state while via the U.S. Army or living in Cape Girardeau, MO or living back home in Washington, Indiana, mom and dad where involved in their grandchildren’s lives as much as they possibly could be. To this day the love all seven grandchildren have felt has never wavered no matter the miles between them.
Mom and dad also have two great grandchildren, Liam and Ezra Gray and Scarlett Brownell. One would think that a great grandson who lives in Virginia would barely know who is great grandparents are. Well I can tell you that this is not the case. Just like Liam, both Scarlett and Ezra will also know who their great grandmother and great grandfather are just from the love and involvement they have and will always have for them.
One last piece of the family are the in-laws. No matter if they have been her children’s spouses or her grandchildren’s spouses, mom and dad have always welcomed them with open arms and love. On a personal level, both Shelly (my wife) and Karen (our daughter-in-law) will always be their daughters. Just as my niece Bree’s fiancée Joel will be another grandson. This has never changed as long as I can remember. This is something that we as parents will teach our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Friends of the family are always made to feel like family with mom and dad. So basically no matter who you are, you are always welcome and treated as part of the Gray Family.
Also, for over 20 years mom taught at Griffith Elementary School forever influencing young minds for a couple of generations. I can personally remember mom teaching some of my classmates children. Mom has stated many times that student she taught in her first few years had children of their own come through Griffith while she was still there. And if they didn’t attend Griffith, she has had the privilege to see these young minds while out and about in Washington.
And, there are the countless friends mom and dad have had since school and other through their jobs.
As you have just read, mom has touched three generations within our family influenced many a child through her time at Griffith Elementary and built life long friendships within the town of Washington.
Now mom and dad have their own personal battle to fight, Breast Cancer. Mom had surgery on September 19th. While in surgery she had a lumpectomy. A lumpectomy is an operation to remove a lump from the breast and is typical when it appears that the cancer has not spread. The surgeon also removed the outer area of the cancer to further ensure that the cancer does not spread and for further testing. Also, while in surgery, mom had her lymph nodes removed from her left under arm.
Due the fast growing and aggressive the cancer she will have to go through four rounds of chemotherapy every three weeks starting the week of October 16th as a preventive measure. Once the chemotherapy is complete, mom will then start her radiation treatment. At this point I am not sure how long this part will take. I will update with new information a soon as possible.
Now we all know that the current state of health insurance is terrible and the insurance companies never pay the full amount of the hospital bill. This is why our family has decided to start a GoFundMe page to assist in the healthcare costs. As of now I do not know the estimated out of pocket cost for mom and dad. This is why our family has not set a dollar amount for the GoFundMe account. Any donation from the town of Washington, Indiana and who grew up with mom and dad, students for whom she taught in her 20 year career, and friends and family of the rest of us kids would be greatly appreciated.
Between me and my sisters, we will provide updates on mom’s treatment fast as we can. Please feel free to post any inspirational comments, prayers or thoughts for mom and dad as they tackle this obstacle.
- Lynn Auberry
- Sandra Englehart
- Gayle Ostby
- Gayle Ostby
- Vicki Riester
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