My grand-nephew, Keifer Balcerzak has been in our family since his dad, Dave married my niece, Chantel in 2002. In that time I have watched him grow from young teenaged boy of 14 years, to a great husband and father. In 2015, Keifer married his long-time girlfriend, Katie, and then just before Christmas of 2017, Keifer and Katie welcomed their daughter, Reece, who arrived far earlier than she was supposed to and gave everyone a scare…especially her parents. With Reece’s arrival, everything changed for Keifer and Katie. Yes, babies change things, but having a baby that must also fight for her life is something that most of us don’t go through, and if you weren’t grown up before that time, you definitely grew up then. Watching your child struggle to grow and catch up to where she should have been when she was born is very hard. Keifer and Katie learned to lean on and depend on each other. They showed what they were made of. There strength was amazing to watch. Today, their family is intact. Reece is a growing and soon-to-be two year old girl.

Keifer has always been Dave’s mini-me, although he is no longer shorter than his dad. Nevertheless, in personality, looks, and pretty much every other way, Keifer and his dad are two of a kind. They are both very strong family men. They love their families with their whole being. When these two commit to something, they stay committed. They are very loyal to family and friends, and they have a giving heart. They are also good friends, a perk that comes later in life when the parenting skills were strong and in place. It is the reward for good parenting. I know that Keifer and Katie will have the same reward when their daughter and their future children grow up. Of course, the greatest parenting skill is love, and they have that, for sure.

Keifer inherited his dad’s talent with tech stuff too. They both have the ability to fix and program just about anything technical. Computers are their forte, and they know them inside and out. They can build them or fix them. They both have kind hearts that lead them to help others whenever they are able. The qualities that Keifer and his dad have endear them to those around them. Today is Keifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Keifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

For some time now, my second cousin Tim has lived in Colorado, and we did not have a chance to get to know him very well. Since he attended my dad’s funeral, and with the help of Facebook, I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to know him better. He is a kind and loving family man, who very much enjoys traveling and showing his wife, Sherrie and his son, Daniel, the world. He is very involved in Daniel’s activities, and it is very clear to anyone who looks at the activities Daniel is into, that he is very much his dad’s son.

Since I didn’t know Tim well when he was growing up, it came as a surprise to me that he is as intelligent as he is. I’m sure that is a fact about himself that he gives little thought to most of the time, because Tim is not one of those people who would ever brag on himself…not that he would need to. Isn’t it funny that when you don’t see someone for a long time, you can still think of them as a little kid…so much so that it shocks you to see them as a very capable adult! From what I have seen, Tim has always been interested in science and technical things. He has the kind of mind that can figure out the solution to the problem. I have found this out first hand, when he was able to help me with some settings on my computer that had made it seem possessed. I’m usually pretty good with my computer, but this one had me stumped.

Tim is also a runner, having participated in the Bolder Boulder 10K Run several times. The Bolder Boulder is an annual 10K race in Boulder, Colorado. The race has over 54,000 runners, walkers, and wheelchair racers, making it the largest race in the US in which all participants are timed and the fifth largest road race in the world. He has run the race as a tribute to loved ones lost and those who have served their country. What an awesome thing to do! This year he ran for his grandmother, my Aunt Laura, and her sister, my Aunt Ruth, who worked in the shipyards as welders working on the ships during World War II.

I am so pleased that Tim and I have had a chance to get to know each other better, and that I know his wife Sherrie and his son Daniel too. And through our relationship, I have also gotten to know his brother, my second cousin, Shawn better as well. I feel like time has gone full circle now…what once was lost has been regained. In the past 5 years, several family members who I have not seen or heard from for a very long time are now back in my life. I know that many people think Facebook is a waste of time and simply a place to vent, but to me, it is a place to reconnect with family who have been and still are too far away to see every day. I am very proud of my second cousin, Tim today as he once again ran in the Bolder Boulder 10K race, and I just want everyone to know what a wonderful person he is. Love you Tim!!

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