January 7, 2014

Salutogenesis Factor #2a Family -- My Washington/Baltimore Family

Here's a memorable Christmas Eve present:

Camden Jacob Dreisonstok
My first great-grandson arrived on Christmas Eve to join his sisters Kaylee and Kenzie. Now, my family consists of eight direct descendants:
  • Son Todd and daughter Ann
  • Todd's daughters -- Jessie and Emily -- and son Colin 
  • Jessie's two daughters -- Kaylee and Kenzie -- and now, son Camden
Most definitely part of the family are Jessie's husband Dan and Todd's companion Jill. They'll soon be joined by Jerrod, who proposed to Emily this past Sunday. We're all looking forward to their wedding on March 30.
Most of my contemporaries seem to have offspring scattered across the country . . . even around the world. My family has remained in the Washington-Baltimore vicinity. Hooray!

A Family of Survivors
I began this "salutogenesis" series citing my own education in dealing with adversity. It's a lesson my kids learned early in life. Their adolescent years were hellish. But both of them are now strong, resilient adults who feel compassion for others going through hard times.

My grandchildren also survived early traumas. They, too, are tough, compassionate adults today.

A Photo Walk Down Memory Lane
It all started with these two. Not Adam and Eve, but John and  Diana:

When I started working as an editor at the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) in April, 1955, Diana was already a highly regarded editor there. We got married on January 19, 1957.

Todd was born in late 1958 and Ann 18 months later. Despite the later troubles, we had a happy, loving family during the children's early years, which may help explain why they turned out so well.

Fast forward to the late teen years . . . Here's a favorite mother-son photo:

And a father-son picture from that time: 

This shot, taken years later, shows Ann doing what she learned to do so well -- walk through the storm with head held high:

And now, the next generation. In this shot, we're in Harper's Ferry, where Todd lived. Jessie's in the carrier.

Emily makes her appearance:

Pretty little girls become beautiful young ladies. Jessie, then Emily:

Introducing the Highly Talented Colin Schappi
I'm the proud owner of this original Colin Schappi collage self-portrait:

Here's handsome Colin with his degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, a credential which has led to a lucrative position as bartender. As is often the case with college grads today . . . stay tuned.

I'll sign off with this pic of our family excursion to Iceland in November, 2012 . . .

. . . and our Mediterranean cruise last summer:

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