Winter's Song - The Rest of the Story
Dan and Amy (their real first names) were married in March following that special Christmas Eve. It was a sweet family wedding with Amy's sister as maid of honor, Dan's best friend, Scott, as his best man, and his girls as flowergirls.
Six months later, they bought a house in a neighboring community. They needed more room since they were expecting their first child together. Their little girl was born healthy and happy and blonde like her mother. Amy never did go back to teaching, but kept a few piano students. The baby grand dominates their living room.
I (otherwise known in the book as Colleen McGrath) continued to write music, and we got together with them periodically to sing and play. My husband, Larry, played guitar along with Dan. Amy and I took turns on the keyboard, and all of us sang.
They had a series of evenings at their home featuring different musicians. We performed at a couple of those.
Today, they have SIX girls, the last four are a mix of blondes and dark hair. A couple of them resemble their mother as a child, but each is unique, and all are beautiful.
Their oldest daughter (Sami in the book) is working locally and promoting her art. Although she had a rocky start, she has matured and seems quite well-adjusted these days. She never knew her birth-father, who died before she was born. Visitations with the mother needed to be court-monitored, and no telephone contact was allowed. After the first few scattered visits, she no longer visited her children. (The stories about her birth-mom are based on true events.). The mother has tried to start a relationship with both girls as they've reached adulthood, which has been a source of tension and bitter-sweetness much of the time for them.
"Alex" is currently living in Italy and working as a nanny. She loves the foreign adventure and has had several different jobs of this kind. She is interested in linguistics as a future career.
Amy's mom was a great blessing when the girls were little, planning special days with each of them. They would go to lunch or swim or do something special, just Grandma and the granddaughter-of-the-day. She continues to do this with all the girls.
The four younger ones are still in school. The first is in middle school and the youngest is in pre-k.
Dan and Amy are loving and firm parents, very true to their Christian values. Amy has home schooled the four younger children and spends lots of time with them. Dan is an awesome dad who obviously adores his little ones and his wife.
In addition to telling Dan and Amy's story, the book was a love letter to Dan's girls. I am very close to them and adore them. Amy grew up with my daughter and her mother is not only a good friend, but she's also another writer and a member of our writing group.
I asked permission before writing the story and ran it past Dan and Amy before I submitted it. They love it! I gave them one of the first copies and received a lovely note back from Amy saying how much they appreciate having their story told so that they can pass it on to their kids.
They're a lovely family, and I'm truly blessed to know them.
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