Cary, my son who was a real handful from the moment we picked him up from Deaconess Hospital in Spokane when the nurses put me in a wheelchair with Cary in my arms, and we went to the door. The nurse said all babies ride in the arms of their adopted mothers so no one can know the baby is adopted. We waited for six months for his birth. We didn't meet his birth mother; however, we knew she was just a kid, 17 or 18 years old. His birth father was an airman at Fairchild Airforce Base near Spokane. Her father kicked her out of his home, and she was taken in by a maternal aunt; her mother had died shortly before. 

Cary cried day and night. I could not calm him. Holding and trying to comfort him when I was three months pregnant my milk came in, so I was able to nurse him and the twins, born five months and thirteen days later. 

Thankfully, Don was teaching at the University of Washington Dental School in Seattle at the time and only came home on weekends. When Cary was about eight months old, Don entered the military service and was assigned to Madigan General Hospital. I flew from Spokane to SeaTac holding Cary in my lap when I was almost ready to deliver the twins. We thought it would be easier for me to fly than drive the 300 miles. We went into military housing at Fort Lewis, three babies under six months old. It was quite an adventure, learning how to take care of them, keep the house clean, fulfilling my obligations as a dental officer's wife, and maintaining my sanity. I loved mothering this litter. 

 They all learned things so fast; Cary walked one city block in his ninth month. I put the twins in a little red wagon and pulled them while Cary made that great walk. 

Cary could read and write before kindergarten; he did third-grade arithmetic when he was in first grade, he had the fine motor, language, and thinking skills very early. He was always doing something that was dangerous and was skilled enough to dart out of my sight and do something he wasn't supposed to do. 

Cary was a great ring-leader for Craig and Laura. I would fasten their bedroom door so that I could go potty and by the time I was done, they had the door open and were going down the street. If one became frightened, he or she would look at the other two, and continue to their destination confident in their journey. More than once the doorbell rang and it would be the M.P.s or a neighbor bringing them back home. We had to resort to drastic measures to secure them in their bedroom when I needed a moment. 

Don couldn't take all the noise, mess, and mayhem that occurred well and he did what his father did to him, he beat all three children. When they were all ten years old I packed the three kids, two mother cats and their litters, a crockpot, blankets and pillows and drove 2,000 miles to create a new home that was free of violence.

I bought an old condemned building constructed about the turn of the century, 1900, that is. The cats ate all the mice; we cleaned all the ceilings, walls, and floors; we created a new home. We dug up the back yard and planted a large vegetable garden. We planted the garden in July and had crops canned and dried and fermenting by the first killing frost. We ate sour kraut for that first year that we made in a crock with a wooden lid that held the kraut below the juice line. I went to a local Mom and Pop grocery store and told them how I planned to get through that first winter, however, I needed meat and milk that I could not provide. They agree I could "scavenge in their back room and take a box of outdated meat and dairy home for $1.00 a week. We made it through that first wonderful year.

Cary had a terrible time in school, always in trouble, running away, shop lifting, smoking, drinking alcohol. I became very good friends with the teachers, principles, police, the juvenile judge, and finally the judge said he had no choice but to place Cary in a boys' ranch. It was very near our home, so I was able to go there every afternoon to tutor other boys. Craig and Laura went with me and they helped to tutor in spelling, arithmetic, and social studies with the other boys. We made quite an interesting team. Cary didn't join us, he was with the other child-care workers at the barn or doing some chore with them. 

He ran away several times and finally was not allowed to return. Craig and Laura and I kept on tutoring. I had completed my B.A. and masters by that time. The next incident, the judge put Cary at a boys ranch about 60 miles away. There were horses, cows, and all kinds of farm animals there. By this time he was high school age. The judge told me at an earlier episode I had to keep Cary in school; I walked into the school with him day after day and as soon as I was gone and he found an opportunity, he ran from school. When Cary was placed at the farm boys' ranch, they couldn't keep him in school either. They put a counselor at the front and back doors to keep Cary from running away; they finally gave up. They took him to a little town nearby with a counselor as an escort and he earned his General Education Diploma (G.E.D.) before he was 16 years old.  

Cary stole money and property from Craig, Laura, both sets of grandparents, me and forged checks before he was 18. When he turned 18, the judge sent him to an adult prison on the other side of the state, 300 miles away. I visited him; the first time I didn't know the protocol and arrived on a day that wasn't visitors' day. I parked the car outside a huge fenced facility with barbed wire all around. I could see three guard towers with men in them with rifles. I sat there crying when I looked up and there was an armed man slowly walking toward me, the gun point at my head. I looked around trying to get my bearings and there were two guard towers with men pointing guns at me. A gruff voice startled me back to the man walking toward me and in a gruff voice wanted to know what I was doing. I sobbed and said I had come to visit my son. He very kindly told me where the entry gate was and after I composed myself, I went to the gate and they let me in via an electric opening device. 

I went in, put my purse and belongings in a locked locker, was thouroughly patted down and I entered a room with a door entry and on the other side was a sliding prison gate. The door behind me was electronically locked and the door in front of me rolled open and I entered a second room with another prison gate ahead of me. The gate behind me locked. A woman who reminded me of Olive Oil popped her head out of a door and said, I kid you not, "Come into my web said the spider to the fly!" The greeting caught me off guard and I started to laugh. The gate before me unlocked and rolled open. I entered a room with a chair, a glass partition, and another chair on the other side. A man brought Cary to the other side of the glass and we visited. 

I wasn't able to control my tears; Cary was disgusted with me and our visit ended. 

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Comment by kathy: ky on September 23, 2016 at 3:48pm
You're welcome Joan. Sometimes we need to vent to someone who's not involved in the situation. My offer stands if you should need me.
Understanding my thick, southern/northern accent mix could be a problem :)
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 23, 2016 at 11:54am

Kathy, I'll get some Boost and offer it to him. Thanks

Comment by kathy: ky on September 23, 2016 at 10:52am
Boost is the brand. Much less sweet than ensure. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry etc.
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 23, 2016 at 4:36am

Kathy, I didn't like Ensure when I was so sick with cancer, and I know Cary wouldn't either. When you say, "boost drinks" is that the brand? What flavors do you like best? 

Thank you for your kindness and offering more help. Cary's illness is a terrible price he has to pay for living such a miserable existence all these years. I can't make him happy, yet my dream is that he experience some joy before he dies.  

Comment by kathy: ky on September 22, 2016 at 11:33pm
The old standbys protein shakes with fruit. You could probably even slip some yogurt in. And the boost drinks are a big improvement over ensure IMO. They aren't nearly as sweet as ensure. Which is a plus for me. I've found that a little chicken broth will increase my appetite when the ulcers flair up and I have no appetite.
Hang in there Joan. You've been through a lot and you've overcame it all. Im certain you have this fight left in you.
Ask for help when you need it. Even if you just want someone to talk to. I can send you my number if you like .
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 22, 2016 at 7:57pm

Daniel and Kathy, I appreciate and need your encouragement right now. I want to do the very best job I can to restore Cary's health, even though I could ring his neck for being such a difficult son. I do no more or less than any mother does for her children when they are in trouble. 

Now, on to the task. What options do I have to supply nourishing food for Cary? 

Comment by kathy: ky on September 21, 2016 at 11:37pm
Joan, you are one brave, amazing and determined woman. I admire your persistence.

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