Keeping Memories Alive with Family and Friends is Healing. A Trauma Informed Conversation…

Steve Sparks
Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…

Celebrating 10 years of “Children and Families in Life After Trauma!” Co-founded with Byron Lewis, a dear friend and colleague who saved my life from drowning in the pain of trauma when I needed it the most. RIP buddy! You did good for so many…

Following is an excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story.  The stories of family history came together mostly from discussions with my father, Vernon H. Sparks.  So far, few records have been located to develop the stories further and to verify facts. 

“My dad talked fondly of his childhood, especially times on his grandparents farm in the Red River Valley in North Dakota.  He loved this time as a child the best. 

According to my father,  Vernon, his grandmother was 50% Lakota Native American, and his grandfather, Sparks, was from the old country.  He rode horses, hunted, fished, and worked hard.  His grandparents were highly respected and well off at the time. 

Their three sons, including my grandfather Art, all had their life challenges and success eluded them for the most part.  Except for Uncle Harry, who took his inheritance and bought a farm in Ascov, Minnesota, Uncle Bob Sparks died of alcohol poisoning, alone and mostly homeless. Grandpa Art passed away in his mid 60’s of a heart condition and lifestyle. He was, sadly, a poor and unhappy man when he passed.  My grandmother, Mildred, lived well into her 80’s and had mostly close relationships with her children and grandchildren. 

I didn’t see much of any of them after joining the Navy in 1963.  I have recently reconnected with my cousins and surviving aunts from both sides of the family while doing research for this story and to retrace my roots.   

My daughter, Bianca, and her family recently moved to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, giving me more motivation to find my way back and to share family roots with my daughter and grandkids, Joey and Jordan.  Another effect of my own PTSD condition was to ignore where my family lived and roots, sharing hardly anything with my children until recently. 

Discussions about my own parents have been limited to negative references for the most part, leaving my kids with a feeling that they didn’t want anything to do with my family.  I take full responsibility for this behavior, and intend to make it up by writing this story and sharing my family history with my own family for the rest of my time.”

Steve’s notes 10 years after Reconciliation, a Son’s Story , I count my blessings and grateful to be alive at age 75. The birth of my new grandson, Liam Skai Fitch, gives me so much hope and new energy.

I feel more alive now, with renewed hope and passion, to make a difference for Liam and all the children in my community. For it it us who can make a difference right now to help Liam, and so many kids in our loving care, change the world into a more kinder and loving community of humans…

Liam Skai Fitch July 6th 2021. Born June 24, 2021
Steve and Judy Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma
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