• 1914 Picture of Baby Millie

    “No, sir! No! No hanky-panky! I would have none of it! Married each one of them!” Thus proclaims Mildred Ruth Ralls, nursing her martini, her voice soft, firm, and reminiscent. Mildred and I are sitting at the kitchen table in the Naperville home. She has received a letter from her sister Elaine in California. Not ...
  • Millie in her early twenties

    Going to church every Sunday is another ritual Little Johnny enjoys. Grandpa and grandma are not regular church-goers. So, the neighbors offer to take Little Johnny to church with them every Sunday. The music and singing of hymns and songs enthrall Little Johnny. The two churches at the end of the street sit across from ...
  • Gene & Millie at the White Swan

    Mildred is enjoying her newfound freedom after her divorce from Ray. She hits the dating scene and immediately falls in love again. The tall, handsome Gene Gephardt is amiable and ambitious. He dreams of building an upscale nightclub and restaurant on the outskirts of Granite City. The location? Not too far from St. Louis but ...
  • Late 1950s picture of John&Rita from personal album

    When Johnny turns sixteen, he and grandpa go car shopping. They are searching for a used one, but it is exciting nonetheless. Johnny sees a set of hot wheels out of grandpa’s price range. He falls in love and pleads to make up the difference by working longer hours at the garage. Grandpa gives in, ...
  • Biography-of-my- amazing-mother-in-law

    Mildred looks up from her reminiscing and her martini – it is almost all gone. It’s been a lingering and fascinating afternoon. We have lost all track of time. The sun is dipping behind the tobogganing hill, its rays slanting into the sunroom. Jason comes downstairs to remind us he is starving.  We are all ...
  • TheThree Kids: Jason Kelly Brian

    In the meantime, ensconced in North Dakota, Johnny, and Rita are content. Establishing a routine in their new home takes a while. Johnny is enthusiastic about exploring engineering schools to commence his research. Employed at a junior level, he is eager to move up the ladder. Advanced learning, higher salary, and decision-making power are his ...
  • Picture from Fishing Trip

    After the initial shock of Rita’s cancer diagnosis, several meetings with doctors and specialists were scheduled. A treatment regimen is recommended, followed, and monitored closely. It includes surgeries, chemo, and radiation sessions, but not without difficulties. Rita loses her hair and wears a wig. She is not comfortable and hates the thought of wearing it. ...
  • Picture of Toot with John and Sunita - Late 80's

    After a respectable passage of time, the Turkey crowd ribs John into dating again. They suggest a few possibilities at work, but John is not all that keen. His office mate, Dilish Adhikari, catches John tilting back in his chair to watch me walking down the hall. “Oh, you like Sunita, do you?” “Well, yes, ...
  • Sacred city of Haridwar

    Upon hearing of Daddy’s demise, John and I rush to call Mummy in Ottawa, Canada. Mummy reminds us to inform Kaushalya Aunty, Daddy’s older sister, of his passing. We drive to Oak Brook, where she lives with her daughter, Sucharita, and her family. Wailing and sobbing her heart out, my aunt insists on talking to ...
  • Jason, Kelly, Brian sometime late 1979-ealry 1980

    We returned to Chicago, and Mummy gave her consent to proceed with the wedding as planned. Everything is now rushed, but it turned out well. It’s a quiet affair, a simple ceremony with flowers, candles, and champagne at the Unitarian Church. Words by Dr. Gibbons from the Bible fall soft as petals. Kelly reads passages ...