I am lucky enough to know one of Julius’ sons.
Julius himself is sort of a legend. He was the oldest of a large group of siblings that were raised in a government run orphanage. Somehow he made it through those years determined to keep his brothers and sisters together.
In spite of the fact that institutions separated siblings in order to house the children by age groups — regardless of the fact that they had different bed times and day time routines — despite residing in separate cottages that were far apart on a large and lonely campus, Julius never let this little cluster of children forget that they were a family.
They all grew up. Julius became a well known, all-American type softball umpire – the kind that created stories for the players to tell for years. And there are now children and grandchildren. When Julius died, he was a great grandfather. Even though he is gone, he left a large, sometimes boisterous extended family who go to church, have important careers, raised their own children, and enjoy big reunions with an annual golf tournament.
The son I know became a mental health professional and a child welfare supervisor. He is a father and grandfather through birth and through foster care adoption.
We enjoy a healthier community because a boy in an orphanage … a mere boy … knew the power of family.
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