Tag Archive | indiana

The Grocery Checkout Lady Made Me Cry

A Moment At The Grocery Checkout Brings Tears

Today was a very emotional day from the moment I woke up. Lately I have been reflecting on my life….that happens more and more as I get older.

March 14 is an anniversary of a tragic moment in my life that happened 43 years ago when I was in college. I’m not getting into that since it’s not the reason for this blog and I really don’t want this to be a bummer and sad blog.

The reason I’m writing is to share about a person (my adopted mother) that had an incredible impact on my life. I was adopted at the age of fourteen and will be forever grateful to have had her in my life. If you’ve read my other blogs you will know what I mean.  Today at the grocery store my checkout lady looked and acted just like my mother and I started to cry. I miss her so much and miss talking to her. We lost my mother to cancer and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.

When we are young we take are parents for granted. I want to include an article that was written about my adopted parents. This will show what awesome people they were and how they helped people.

Volume 32, Number 8
August 2002
Gasts honored for volunteerism

With over 25 years of dedicated service, it is no wonder Bob and Marge Gast from Warsaw, Ind., have been named the Territorial Volunteer Family. What they have done to serve others through The Salvation Army could fill volumes, but here’s a glance.

Marge is a past advisory board member and a long-standing women’s auxiliary member. Both she and her husband work tirelessly on fundraising projects, including the auxiliary’s annual fruit and nut sale and the soup and pie luncheon. They have been instrumental in starting an auxiliary children’s fashion show and luncheon which raises funds to buy school clothes and shoes for underprivileged children. The Gasts also regularly purchase food and prepare the meal for the youth program on Wednesday nights. During the holidays, they’re on kettle duty, help with the Angel Tree and league of mercy.

They also serve their community by helping with senior center activities, and Bob heads up organization of Mobile Meals delivery through the Rotary Club. While they’re active in their own church, they support special events at the corps and Marge regularly attends the corps’ women’s Bible study.

The Army salutes you, Bob and Marge, for your Christian witness, commitment and service!

 I thank God everyday for bringing this beautiful family into my life. The article didn’t mention that they had 4 children and then adopted three of us…..that’s because they thought of us as their children……not once did we EVER feel different because we were adopted.  The same goes for their 4 biological children. We were brothers and sisters from the day we were adopted. I am a very lucky person! Cherish your family and have a great day!

Erie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel

Erie Neighborhood HouseErie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel

Recently I was thinking about all the events that have happened in my life.  I thought of Erie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel.  

I remember as a youth living with my biological mother and seven siblings in Chicago, Illinois. We would visit Erie Neighborhood House for all types of help and activities that were offered there.  It was  anything as getting food, clothing, tutoring lessons, attending church, receiving Christmas gifts, selling cookies to be able to go on  a vacation in Michigan, lessons in ballet and piano to visiting families in other states that helped under privileged children.

The person I remember that gave so much to all who visited was Evelyn Lyman.  She dedicated her life to helping people in the neighborhood.  I was nine years old when she introduced us to the family in Warsaw, Indiana. Evelyn Lyman wanted children to see that there was a better way of life and in turn, the families that cared for the children also learned valuable lessons.

Evelyn dedicated every single moment to help families. She brought children into her own home.  She NEVER clocked out.  She is one of the most amazing women I had the pleasure of having in my life  If it wouldn’t have been for her my life would have been so different.

She arranged many children to visit many homes throughout different states. I had the pleasure of visiting several different families in South Dakota and Indiana. I would not have been able to see what life was like outside of my inner city home in Chicago, Illinois. That’s why Erie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel means so much to me.

Eventually I started visiting the family in Warsaw, Indiana every vacation break we had.  Easter, Thanksgiving and the entire summer.  I did that for several years and the summer of my 13th birthday they ask my biological mother if I could attend school in Warsaw.  Reluctantly she said ‘yes’.  I was the oldest and helped a lot at home.  My mother realized that this would be a better way of life for me, so she put her needs aside for me.  I was a teenager and of course didn’t realize what a great sacrifice that was. Needless to say that it must have hurt her deeply that I was so happy to go.

Evelyn Lyman would visit and make sure everything was working out.  Since I was from the inner city and struggling in school my foster parents would be easy on me.  Evelyn would tell them to treat me as one of their own and not use that as an excuse.  As soon as that happened my grades went up.  That goes to show us that children rise to your expectations.

The next summer my foster mother asked if I wanted to go visit my mother for her birthday.  I didn’t want to go because I thought I might not be able to come back.  I said I’d go later that summer.  The very next week two days before my fourteenth birthday she was killed in a car accident.  I have always felt so guilty that I had not gone to see her.  I was so selfish!

All because of Erie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel

Since we didn’t have a father in the home Evelyn made sure we were all put in loving homes.  My foster parents took three of us girls and the rest of the siblings went to other homes in the area.  My foster parents already had four children and did not hesitate.  We were all adopted and all have college degrees.

I am so ashamed to say that after I was adopted I lost touch with Erie Neighborhood House And Evelyn Lyman My Angel.  I was so selfish and involved with my own life and would give anything to hug her and thank her for her selflessness.  I guess I wanted to forget that part of my life.

I’m writing this blog to give thanks to a woman that meant the world and made a difference to so many people. So Evelyn, I’m sorry and thank you with all my heart! God Blessed so many families with you!

How My Parents Changed My Life Forever

momanddad

My Story Of How My Parents Changed My Life Forever

My name is Maritza and I want to dedicate my first post to my parents (Bob and Marge Gast). It has taken me 48 years since I was adopted at the age of 13, to truly appreciate how my parents changed my life forever.

You can ask anyone from our hometown of Warsaw, Indiana and EVERYONE will tell you what remarkable people they are.  Unfortunately, we lost my mother to cancer several years ago. I wish I had expressed how grateful I was to have a chance at a second mom and how much she meant to me. I miss her so much every single day. I miss calling her for advice and talking to her. I wish I hadn’t taken her for granted.  I was blessed to have such loving and giving parents.

I was born in Chicago on June 18th,1954.  I was fortunate to be with my biological mother until she passed.  She had such a hard life and did the best she could under such horrible conditions. There were eight children ( seven girls and one boy).  We were on welfare and obviously very poor. She was beautiful, intelligent and a loving mother. My mother’s name was Luz Selena Flores. She was Puerto Rican and my father Donato Gonzalez was Mexican.I didn’t really know my father, he had left when I was really young.

I can remember like it was yesterday How My Parents Changed My Life Forever. There was a church in our neighborhood that had children visit families in the summer in northern Indiana. In 1963 The Gast and other families in Warsaw wanted to help underprivileged children and that was the beginning for myself and my brother and sisters.

My brother and sisters would visit during the summer for two weeks there were several families that took us in. After awhile it was every vacation we had throughout the year such as Easter,Thanksgiving and the entire summer.  I loved it there and was always depressed that I had to go back to Chicago. I would cry the entire time and begged to stay.

The Day How My Parents Changed My Life Forever

The Gast had four children ( two boys and two girls) of their own, so I never thought it was possible that I would really be able to live with them.  One day during my summer visit I was playing outside and they called me in.  They sat me down and asked if I wanted to live with them.  I couldn’t believe my ears!  My wish had come true.  I will never forget Bob Gast, that eventually became my father say “We’d be tickled pink if you came to live with us”

They had asked my biological mother if I could live with them and go to school in Warsaw.  I guess she said no at first since I was the oldest and she needed my help. Eventually she said yes!.  Now that I am a mother I realize how hard that must have been for her.  It would kill me if my daughter wanted to live somewhere else.

The main reason I didn’t like living in Chicago was that I was being sexually abused, but never told anyone.  Many years later I found out that they suspected it and that was why they took me in.  It was a neighbor and also my mother’s boyfriend.  I never told my mother because I knew she would kill him,  Seriously, she was a tough woman.  You had to be tough in the ghetto.

How my parents changed my life forever was to bring happiness to a little girl.  I was given an opportunity to have great parents, great brothers and sisters and shown a way of life I thought was only on TV.  Seriously, on my first visit I did not know people lived like that.  I thought everyone was poor.  They lived on the lake, had a boat, they didn’t fight, they had lots of food, a telephone, a car and they bought things new!  The biggest thing they gave me was HOPE and LOVE…..lots of it!  I was able to go to college and become a teacher. I’m now working from home and owe everything to my parents. The only thing I really regret that it has taken me so long to really really see how special and lucky I am. Thank you Mom and Dad….I Love You!

I want to share the wonderful memories with you and will continue in other posts.  I want to use this platform to show the world how much you can touch someone’s life.  I also will share anything I feel like…..as my site is named….gotlotstoshare