ABOUT ME: Darlena’s Personal Story

Maybe you would like to know a little about me, so let me share a little of my Personal Story. I wasn’t always a senior citizen, sitting behind a computer, having the time of my life with the Blog, and meeting all sorts of wonderful people online. It is so fun growing up here with all of you and my wonderful online family.

My mom’s great-grandparents came to the US to join the exodus of Catholics from Germany. They settled in Baltimore, Maryland. I once read “Chesapeake” by Robert Michener where he describes the growth of the Chesapeake area and the German immigrants. It was a great book and helped me understand my ancestors from my mother’s side.
My dad had a rough upbringing. He was born in Tucumcari, New Mexico, to a very young mother. Times were very rough back then. He spent his childhood moving around from his grandparents to his mom, to orphanages. He joined the Army and went to basic training in Alabama….he was only 18. While there he volunteered to participate in mustard gas research as a subject (I won’t get into that here) but as a result, he was in the Baltimore area where he met my mom.
He did go over to Europe and was in WWII; so thankful he made it back safely. When he returned, he and my mom were married. My parents were of the “Greatest Generation” and I loved them dearly.

I am the second eldest among six siblings, and when I reflect on our childhood, it feels like a time marked by simplicity and abundant love from our parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. Despite not having much, I can’t recall ever feeling deprived of what we truly needed.

In those days, our neighborhood in La Puente, California, was a vibrant community filled with post-war families and numerous children. We reveled in the freedom to explore our surroundings, playing games like hide-and-seek well into the night—something we wouldn’t dream of allowing our own children to do today!

personal story

Maintaining our close bond is essential, and we make an effort to gather every couple of years. Sadly, in 2022, we faced the unexpected loss of one of our brothers, Daniel. It was an incredibly challenging time for our family. The strength of our love and support for each other saw us through. In this modern age, technology, particularly texting, has become a vital tool for staying connected and informed about each other’s lives. I can’t help but appreciate how technology has played a crucial role in preserving our familial ties.

More of My Personal Story: Nursing

I think I always knew I wanted to work in health care. Recently I came across a little yearbook from 8th grade where a teacher of mine told me to continue to pursue my dream of being a surgeon. But somewhere along the line I changed my mind to nursing….and never looked back.

I graduated from high school on a Wednesday and then moved into the nursing dormitory at the Los Angeles County School of Nursing on Saturday. If I had it to do over again, I would still select a career in nursing; it was a very rewarding experience. I LOVED it.

Most of my clinical experience was in the Operating Room and I moved into management in my 20s and advanced through the ranks over my 47 years. Even in retirement, I maintain my nursing focus and volunteered with the American Red Cross for several years This Blog of mine will reflect my nursing background and you will likely find an occasional reference to my past experiences. No Regrets.

Personal Story Continues: Then We Married

personal story

Married Life: What can I say? I married my high school sweetheart. We just celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary. Our lives together are filled with both quiet evenings together and many activities that keep us busy too. We have a lot of fun together. In addition, we both enjoy a lot of the same things…..our precious three Biewer Terriers, our most wonderful grandchildren, and traveling.

My personal story would not be complete without shouting out the memories of our family adventures. We have always traveled one way or another. In our earlier years, we went on long camping vacations, hiked with our sons in their Boy Scout troop, and of course, visited family near and far. Now, we seem to spend most of our travels on cruises, escorted trips, and still, long car trips with our Corvette car club or our latest toy, a small 20 ft travel trailer.

I can say that my greatest joy at this stage of my life is my grandchildren. Any time spent with them is Heaven on Earth for me. I have six grandchildren, all of who are of course brilliant and so very special to Curt and me. We are very proud of them.

They make us laugh and keep us guessing what they will be doing next.

Life Events

As I write this we have basically emerged from COVID pandemic. Now COVID is a constant in our world, just like the flu. In my lifetime, I have mourned the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Bobby Kennedy, John Lennon, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Regan. Then there were the 1973 Gas Crisis, the Space Shuttles Challenger, and Columbia disintegrations. I will never forget the 9/11 terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York. Still today we hear of far too many mass shootings to list (I am sad to admit), and now the world of online scams and world unrest.

Not to mention, we also had the Vietnam War (Curt had been drafted during this time but he was stationed in Germany), and the many years of war and conflict in the Middle East. Those are all tragic events that are burned in my memory.

But in spite of that the good in life keeps me grounded and believing in a bright future. I still believe in the goodness of people and the love of our Lord. Most people around the world love their families and want to have a better life for all of our children. All things considered, for my remaining years I intend to wake up every day with a positive outlook and do my best to contribute to a better world. I continue to DREAM BIG and believe it is up to me to bring happiness and joy to others.

I am happy you are visiting my site and sharing a snippet of my personal story.
My Dreams continue to drive me. Here are my thoughts on Dream Bigger.

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Updated 4/1/24