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Monday, January 02, 2006

This is a remarkable true story of a blind couple who raised ten children - all are doing very well!

 Amazing grace!
We received the following from the wife of a loyal viewer, Robert Mahoney, and felt the Spirit prompt us to share it as an inspiration -- especially for those who feel their hands are full with children:
I am Jennie Kubinger Mahoney, born in Bannister, a small town in central Michigan. I am first generation of Czech parents who came to America in 1910.
My father was a businessman in a small town. My mother was a housewife who worked  hard growing food in two big gardens and raising four daughters.
I lost my sight when I was three years old. I attended the school for the blind in Lansing, Michigan for ten years. In the eleventh grade, Bob Mahoney arrived at the school, having lost his sight at fifteen. This is the Bob Mahoney I married.
We were married in 1941, which was a rough year as my father died and then a week after our wedding, the unimaginable Pearl Harbor occurred. We moved into a furnished apartment where the rent was thirty-seven dollars a month. We were deeply in love and very happy.
For the first twelve years, Bob worked selling door to door. However, Bob had a heart condition and finally his heart doctor told him he could  not do that kind of work any longer.
Well, he turned to politics. Bob was the first blind man to be elected to the Michigan Legislature. He served as a Legislator for eighteen years and then served three years in the Wayne County Commission. Nine years before he finally retired, he was a lobbyist for the Michigan Hospital Association.
The second year after we married, we moved to a larger apartment-not furnished. Can you even imagine two totally blind persons buying furniture? I believe God was with us all of our lives. We did get help from a kind salesman. Unfortunately, Bob and I had no one to give us advice or any other support. We had to do everything ourselves. My mother a widow, lived a hundred miles away, and Bob?s father, a widower, had his own problems.
Our first born, Gary, was born after we were married two and a half years. My mother came and stayed with us for two weeks. I was very nervous giving Gary his first bath. I asked Bob to stand beside me and that was all I needed.  I was a pro after that.
I reflect and smile now because my mother, my three sisters, and I all waited on our father, so I waited on Bob as we had our father. When we were first married, I would serve his orange juice in bed in the morning. When Gary was born, things changed. There was no more morning orange juice served in bed. After a few weeks Bob wondered when thing would get back to normal. Of course they didn?t; thing just got more complicated.
Within six years, we had five children, one more boy and three girls. I never had help. In fact, I  had cloth diapers,  had to sterilize the bottles and nipples and boil the water for the formula. We adjusted our home to babies. I put bells on their shoes so I could hear where they were. We had no breakable knickknacks. All our cleaning supplies were placed in high cupboards. I guess I  yelled a lot at the older ones to be sure the basement door was always closed. The little ones, I put in the playpen so I could wash the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. Being blind, I felt that the floor was not clean using a mop.
We ultimately had five more boys, bringing us to a total of ten children. They all attended Catholic schools and participated in sports and other activities.
There were many children on the block where we lived, so they all joined in the games in the neighborhood and had lots of fun. We prayed the Rosary every evening and many times friends of our children joined us.
Our boys had paper  routes and the girls helped me in the house, but on weekends the girls worked in a clothing store. The children liked earning money and they were hard workers.  They are still hard workers today.
While Bob was in the Legislature, he got his insurance license. We also decided to start a mail order business selling bonds to individuals who wanted to become Notary Public. The first two years in our Notary business I did the work myself. Our business phone was next to the bathroom where I had my Braille writing materials, a slate, and a stylus. When the phone rang I would hush the children, take the phone into the bathroom, close the door and answer in my ?office? voice. I typed all the necessary information  and stuffed the envelopes in preparation for mailing. Doing all this, plus all the homemaking duties, was very stressful for me.
When Colleen graduated from high school she took over the bond work. She worked for us for twenty-five years and then we sold the business to her. In recent years, the business has grossed three quarters of a million dollars. And to think it all started in our ?bathroom? office.
I know God was with us every step of the way because, without our faith in God, we could not have accomplished what we did.
Today our children are all doing great. They are raising their families, working  hard and being good citizens. They are helpful to us and are very good to us.
Gary, our oldest, works for a blueprint company. Roberta is a registered nurse. Our Rosemary died of cancer at forty-three. She was a beautician. Dennis graduated as a special education teacher but is now managing a large lumber company. Colleen still has the Michigan Notary business we sold her. Joseph is a CPA and vice  president of the Michigan Catholic Conference. Mark supervises the technical service in Macomb County. Mike sells software and computer systems to the large corporations. Bill is a salesman for Anheuser-Busch. Bob, our youngest, is a salesman for a national printing company. We are very proud of our children and we feel that raising a large family was the best thing we did with our lives.
We have twenty-four grandchildren and three have earned their Ph.Ds  and two have their Master?s Degrees. The rest are still pretty  young, so we will have to wait to see what they will produce. 
After all these years, at eighty-four, Bob has two mechanical heart valves and a pacemaker and is feeling fine. I have my aches and pains but nothing serious. I am still cooking and doing light housework for the two of us. Each day, after lunch, we play two game so cribbage.  I would say we are about even.
Bob and I give all of our thanks to God for all that we have accomplished in our life. We never could have done it without Him.
Jennie Mahoney
1988 Searl Ct.     
E. Lansing, Mich.
Portal ..

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