New England Fall was beautiful last year, but I am glad the year has passed.

This time last year in the fall was a very hard time for my family.  My Wonderful Uncle Dennis Faulkner who reminded me so much of my late daddy, was diagnosed with cancer and was already having other severe health issues and I needed to go see him immediately. I of course was also scared as my father, his father, 6 out of  8 of my grandfathers siblings also had cancer.  I worried for my sons.  I went back to Maine to "say goodbye" to my Uncle Dennis as he meant so much to me. When my boys were little he and my aunt  were living in Texas at the time and watched them for me so I could work 2 jobs and not have to pick them up in the cold at 2 a.m. from the restaraunt I worked at. I have very many fond memories of my Uncle Dennis.  My Uncle was a Vietnam Veteran and I remember him coming home on leave I must have been 5 as at that time we lived in Houlton Maine, my dad put on a record and my very tall uncle 6"3 or so just like my father, danced with me and twirled me around throughout the living room. He was in his uniform and I adored him.

During this visit, we came to find out that back in 1997 right before my father passed Yale University was doing a study on a familial cancer gene and from the study detected the mutant gene for MEN1. With the history in our family A Dr. from Maine sent my fathers Dr. a request to send blood to Yale for this test, my father did not receive this request or had not acted on it before passing immediately after. Another relative who had the same cancer my father had at the same time sent in bloodwork and tested postitive for this gene., I then was very worried about my sisters and my sons and Grandaughter.  I then started doing research on family ancestory and became obsessed spending hours upon hours trying to see where this  gene mutation came from, reading medical report, death certificates it really put me in a bad place. My uncle passed before his bloodwork was submitted like my father so they were never confirmed to have this gene. My 2 sisters and I went through the genetic testing, holding our breath as the statistics of this mutation are 50 percent of your offspring will carry this so with us 3 girls I feared the chances of one having it were extremely high.  Also I have 2 biological sons and a Grandaughter I am raising that I may have passed the mutated gene to.  The test took 3 months and my older sisters came back negative, praise God!  My younger sisters came back negative, praise God! But mine was taking alot longer.  I really worried  as the weeks passed, was mine taking longer becuase they had positives they wanted to double check? I could deal with me but was worried I would not be able to complete raising Abby and that I may have passed the gene to her or one of my two sons and to have them  tested and one be ill and watch me...... I could not think past it, could not leave home for fear of missing phone. I started getting symptoms in my head......., not a good place to be.  My Husband was so supportive during this time poor guy.  3 weeks after my sisters got their results mine came in , I too was negative.  I was assured it was 99 percent correct and that my offspring could not get the mutation if I did not have it. This was a very  hard time. But it does seem like years ago now. Thank you Lord for all of our results.

So that is what got me started on my ancestry research and I am still studying my ancestry and also started studying my mothers side and it is very interesting. I am wanting to complete it this year and get it in a bound book to copy for my family members. That is my goal. I was able to research my fathers family back to Ireland immigrating to New Brunswick ,Canada and then my Great Great Grandfather coming to New Limerick Maine in 1862. There are just a couple of pieces I want to confirm before I feel complete,  I have received alot of information from other family members and will be working on that alot this year.

The trip to Maine being a goodbye trip was a sorrowful one but it did take me back to my fathers land and that of the people I am studying. I lived in Maine as a small child and went back to visit in 1st grade, but had never been back since.  I was in awe at the beauty of New England in the fall and want to post those pictures. I somehow felt as I belonged there as if it were part of me.   My uncle was laughing and visiting and asking my hubby how the fishing was lately, he was in the best spirits, he told my grandaughter/daugher (I am raising Abby) to be a good girl! It was hard to believe he was passing, his spirit was so strong and he said "you spent enough of your time visiting me" now go see the land, I'll see you in Texas in the spring! Dennis made it through that Christmas but passed soon after and did not get to see his Great Grandchild that was born just a few months after.  He was 58, My father was 57 when we lost him in the fall September of 97. These New England fall photos will always remind me of Dennis and his bringing me back to my roots and that strong Faulkner spirit.  This is what I will remember not the bad, I am missing you Dennis, I love you.
and Daddy I am missing you too!

FairHaven In Bath Maine

 Historical 1790 Colonial  bed and breaksfast we stayed at while in Bath Maine (Abby)

Salem   Abby and I

House of Seven Gables

Abby and my Hubby Melvin Hicks (Poppa)

Boston Commons
Boston Commons
Boston Commons
Boston Commons I loved this tree!
It was obvious these little guys were used to alot of people they let you get up close Boston Commons
Beautiful Garden Streets of Boston

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