This story begins on June 16, 1961, with the marriage of Charles Daniel O’Neal to Nary Beth Craig. From this marriage came their first daughter.
This is where my story begins. My name is Kimberly Jane O’Neal McInnis, twenty-two years of age. On August 14, 1962, I was born to Charles and Mary Beth O’Neal. My grandparents were Jess Thomas and Samintha Beaver Craig, and my great grandparents were Ed and Minnie Beaver. Although I never had a chance to know my great grandparents, I have heard many wonderful things about them.
My life as a child was somewhat difficult, as I was born with a congenital heart condition. I spent a lot of my first few months of life in doctors’ offices and in hospitals. As I grew older I learned to cope with my ailment, but never really understood why I could not run and play like the other children did. Today I understand. Even though there is no corrective surgery for my condition, I manage to do what most any other person does, and I thank God for letting me be as active as I am. As a baby, I was nrobably spoiled rotten by my par ents and grandparents for I always received a lot of attention. I enjoyed that.
Suddenly life became somewhat different, when on March 24, 1966, I was given a baby brother. His name is Daniel Craig O’Neal. I was very proud of my cute baby brother, however, as it is with any brother-sister relationship, we fought a lot. Today things have improved somewhat. Danny is a handsome 18 year old who graduated from high school in Tyler. He is a blackbelt in karate, so I have learned to just leave him alone.
Just as I had gotten used to the idea of not being the only child, I was blessed again with a baby sister. Kelley Lynn O’Neal arrived March 19, 1968. She and I always had to share a room, and needless to say, because I was six years older than she, we did have some problems. She liked to write on the dresser and I enjoyed pestering her. Finally, at ages 19 and 13, we got separate rooms, but then we fought over the bath room. Kelley is sixteen years old now, and she definitely received the brains and the beauty in the family. To me she is absolutely gorgeous, every high school boy’s dream. She is a majorette at Winona High School, and taxes part in many other activities. She was recently named Homecoming Queen for 1984-1985. I am very proud of my brother and sister, and am lucky that they are a part of my life.
My parents are the most special people in the world. They have done so much, and given so much that I can’t imagine my life without them, even though I am now a married woman. My father has been so wonderful, always there whenever I need him, day or night. He has done everything from wording on my car to helping us move into our new mobile home. I thank God for my wonderful daddy.
My mother is known by most of the family members as “Boodie’. She is just eighteen years older than I, so our relationship has always been more like sisters, I guess. That may be why we had a few spats as I was growing up. We have shared many troubled times together and she always Keeps her chin up and boosts my morale. Today, at forty, she looks like a young lady and is the picture of beauty. Even though she has never worked outside the home hers was probably the most diffi cult of all, that of raising a family. She is always there for Dad and us children. She is active now in Dad’s business, landscaping and nursery, she is the bookkeeper. I don’t Know what I did to deserve such wonderful parents, and I hope they Know how much I truly love and appreciate them.
Now, I would like to share something of the one person in my life who I have played with, laughed with, and most of all learned from, my grandmother, Samintha Craig. I could not begin to tell how much she has done for me.We have always been very close, and especially since we lost our beloved grand father. It seems that after he died our lives just started to crumble. Within four months Mam-ma found out that she had cancer of the stomach. I was so afraid for her, and I simply could not bear the thoughts of losing her too. She told me not to be afraid, and that she would make it. Make it she did. It was a long road to recovery, yet she beat the odds and has lived a fairly healthy life.
Mam-ma and I have spent many joyful hours playing scrabble or rummy, and we always find something different to laugh about. She still caters to me. I usually see her on my lunch hour, and she never lets me down in the food department.
Mam-ma is a fine example of what a Christian should be. I understand that most of the Beaver family was, and still is this way. I am truly proud to be a descendant of the Beaver clan, and I hope I can life up to the name, and to be as special as my dear grandmother, Samintha Craig.
As I close I will leave this thought. In my profession as a florist, I see many beautiful flowers bloom and fade. Families are much like flowers, but we always have our descendants to live on after us.
Thank you, Aunt Lois, for letting me be a part of your effort.
Since Kim wrote her chapter, she has moved to Dallas where she is employed in the office of St.Paul’s hospital. in the computer section. After reading her chapter, you can imagine how much her Mam-ma misses her. Our best to you, Kim.