Hi from San Francisco!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Julie Gibson, Jun 23, 2024.

  1. Julie Gibson

    Julie Gibson Member

    Hi there. Wanted to take a second to introduce myself. My name is Julie. I'm a single mom to two amazing teenagers, three rescue cats, and a mobility-assist task-trained service dog named Qasi Zander Von Zaragoza (Kaz) :) . I work in Tech.

    I was born in Boston, and raised in Portland, OR. I moved to CA for college and never left. Mt kids are the first generation on my maternal side of our family tree born outside New England since Plymouth Colony. We just stuck around :) I have done extensive work on my family tree on Ancestry. Feel free to check it out. https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/5958866?cfpid=-1368732974&dtid=100

    I lost my entire immediate family in 2021 in a span of 12 weeks. My father, Dr. Robert Clayton III died in Jan after a long battle with Parkinson's. Only weeks later, my oldest sister, Lynn, overdosed on Oxycodone and died. My surviving sister and my mother created a story to tell people about how Lynn died. They told family members and friends that she died of covid. My sister never had covid. I am not ashamed of my sister's addiction. My sister and mother told me that by telling the truth of my sister's death, I was disgracing her and the family. I said no to my mother for the first time in my life. Within a few months, I was disinherited and removed from the family trust, all taken care of by my mother's team of lawyers. My children's college funds were even taken from me. I begged them not to shun me, but they have been silent for three years now.

    I channeled my grief into two huge efforts. I became certified in the administration of Narcan and how to perform lifesaving measures on a person who is overdosing. I carry Narcan, Fentanyl test strips, and fresh needles and hand them out with no questions or judgment. Sometimes it's a stranger, sometimes a friend. I just ask that they please remember an amazing person named Lynn who lost the fight.

    The second effort was researching who I am and where I come from. I have found some great surprises along the way. My family had several pieces of furniture, jewelry, quilts, paintings, etc. from Colonial America and before. I have a few of these items, some are back in Virginia and Mass, and some met an unfortunate end in the process of selling things out of the home in Portland. Among the items lost was a pair of corner cupboards that I loved as a kid. I always told my parents that I wanted them in my home someday. My mother took them to Goodwill. Separately.

    The story behind those cabinets is as beautiful as they are. My father is the fifth physician in a row of generations spanning from before the Civil War. My great-grandfather was a general practice doctor in the town. One day, a man brought in his critically ill son. The boy was near death and needed immediate treatment. The man had no money. My great-grandfather treated him at no charge. Months later, a gift arrived from the father of the boy who had survived. The man was a carpenter and woodworker. He crafted two 8-foot-tall corner cabinets (photos in my gallery) from two huge pieces of oak. Not a single metal fastener was used. Just gorgeous craftsmanship. When I was a kid, I loved to put my head in the wood to inhale the smell of the wood.

    I LOVE old things. I particularly love boxes of all kinds. Old things tell a story, they show the wear of use, proof that someone existed. I love to hear about the history of a piece, and about the person who used it. The story is as important to me as the item itself.

    I love Victorian furniture with a goth vibe. I love bed boxes and elaborate and strange items. If it's unusual, I will likely find it wonderful.

    That was longer than I intended it to be. I apologize for turning this introduction into a therapy session for a second there. Like with old things, families also have stories.
  2. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Julie. We would probably all describe ourselves as addicts here, although the cravings are more likely to lead to bankruptcy or spousal desertion. Very brave & great hearted of you to take on that life-saving mission.
  3. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    Julie I am sorry for your losses and the pain caused by family issues.
    I hope you find another home here to discuss antiques and such.
    Welcome aboard.
  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I'm sorry for your loss :(, & glad you've found us !!:happy:
  5. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    Hi and WELCOME to ANTIQUERS, @Julie Gibson.....I'm also so sorry for the loss of not only your sister, but in a way your whole family. We lost a niece just about a year ago, who at passing, was 54, BUT she became addicted in her mid-teens to drugs.......family was always trying to get her into Rehab..... but she chose to live her life her own way....an addiction is just that...not something to easily overcome, and something she likely had little control over.....with all you've had to handle, Bless You for doing what you do to try to help others. SO happy you've found us here!!!! And yes, antiques are an addiction as well....!!!!!:happy::):)
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2024
  6. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    johnnycb09 likes this.
  7. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    Welcome Julie and thank you for your essential work.
    Any Jewelry likes this.
  8. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    ps........3 rescue cats.......... we like you already !!!!!!:cat::cat::cat::cat: ;)
  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing. Your sister's addiction was an illness just like any other, and you did her justice by acknowledging that. That is love, and your love for her gave you strength. Hold on to both.
    You also turned her suffering into something good for others, in keeping with your father's family history of doctors who cared for the community.

    I am sorry that you and your children were disinherited and shunned as a result of speaking the truth about a devastating illness.
    Your family has given you much pain, but they also left you with a beautiful history and legacy. Enjoy that beauty, it wins in the end.:)
    Aquitaine and pearlsnblume like this.
  10. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Julie :) Thanks for sharing your story
    Aquitaine and pearlsnblume like this.
  11. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    Welcome! And thanks for telling your story.
    Aquitaine likes this.
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