I grew up in the Midwest, and have the values of a Midwesterner. My father's family are related distantly to the Kennedys and the Fitzgeralds, though not the Boston branch. My great-great grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, was a haberdasher in New York City. His son, my great-grandfather, James, was a Marine in the Civil War. He is said to have swum the St. Lawrence River from New York state to Canada to court my great-grandmother, Mary Rose Fitzgerald.
My mother's family dates back to pre-Revolutionary days. My grandmother was a Sumner, and the Sumner family were active in the revolution and later, in abolition of slavery. Again, the relationship is quite distant.
I have raised four children to productive adulthood. I have taught basic skills to American soldiers who fell through the cracks of the American education system. I am a pretty good cook, and love to knit sweaters for my family. I did the Martha Stewart thing before she got to be famous, because I had to be frugal but wanted my kids to have a better childhood than I did. My childhood was really sad because of my dad's alcoholism, my mother's deep depression, and my brother's mental illness. My two sisters and I were victims at my brother's hands, but no one knew what to do about it. My younger sister still has not overcome her trauma, but my older sister and I have. All these things make me a compassionate, sensitive but intelligent woman.
I believe our country can be great. We may be at a crossroads now, but everything will be all right if we stop acting on our fears. Everything is in God's hands, but we have to carry out the will of God. I daresay that both branches of my family would agree with that statement.