Marilyn Adams holds her 22-month-old grandson Brandon Palaia as her daughter Klarissa Adams, 15, plays with 1-year-old Johnathan Adams in the kitchen Wednesday at their home in Texico. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer
Marilyn Adams’ family was experiencing numerous health problems. Two toddlers were breaking out in rashes, three other children, ranging in age from 4 to 15, were complaining of headaches.
After visiting doctors, Adams began to suspect the health issues might be related to something in the home. She said the rented trailer house smelled funny.
Two months ago, after nearly two years of living in the Clovis home, she called a private contractor for an inspection. Terry Curry found the family’s walls were filled with black mold, which has been linked to serious health problems.
Black mold is a blanket term for mold that builds up, usually near leaks, Curry said.
“I can’t tell anybody to get our of their house,” Curry said. “I told her, ‘If you were my wife, I’d pick you up on my shoulder and carry you out of your house.’”
“We are lucky that we got out when we did,” Adams said.
Adams said she is thankful today that her kids are healthy again — and for kindness shown by people she didn’t even know.
Adams said the family’s things were contaminated by the black mold, and they had to throw most of them away. She salvaged family photos, but the frames had to be trashed.
“Moving like that we had to catch up with so many things,” she said, but the community was there to help out.
Clovis’ Head Start officials sent a letter to parents who brought towels, toys, soap and dishes, Adams said.
Cowboy Christian Church in Muleshoe gave the family furniture and money for a deposit on a new apartment in Texico.
And Adams’ husband’s boss also helped out, giving him more hours and a raise.
“There’s a lot of wonderful people in Clovis and in Texico,” said Adams, who will be thinking of those who helped her family this Thanksgiving.
“I’m thankful that there are still a lot of good people around,” she said.
Lynnie Smith, 54, called her doctor’s office to make a routine appointment in May, expecting it would be a few months before she could get in.
As luck would have it, the nurse said a recent cancellation had come in and the doctor could see Smith the next day.
That appointment changed Smith’s life. She was diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer.
“ It was almost supernatural how things happened,” said Smith, who said the cancer could have spread beyond control if she had been forced to wait several months for the doctor’s appointment.
Smith is still going through chemotherapy, but said her cancerous cells have been removed and her health is improving.
“Although it’s been a hard year, it’s been a very blessed year,” Smith said. “I’m very thankful for my family and my church family.”
Smith said she’s thankful for the nurses and doctors who discovered her cancer, and all those at Clovis’ cancer center that have helped her.
“This is no worse than a head cold that they’re having trouble clearing,” she said. “They caught it early, treated it very aggressively and now I’m skating right away.”
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Tango Marshall, 21, said every year at Thanksgiving her family goes around the table and reveals the “most heartbreaking thing” they’ve experienced and how God has helped them through it.
This year, Marshall said she will talk about childbirth.
“It’s the most excruciating pain in America,” said Marshall, who went through 14 hours of labor when she gave birth to her first child Malikahai in July.
Although the labor was tough, Marshall said motherhood is the greatest blessing and what she is thankful most for this holiday season.
She especially enjoys watching children during the holidays.
“To see the children’s faces light up … it’s priceless,” Marshall said.
She said she’s learning that the big responsibility of being a mother also comes with great rewards that will make this Thanksgiving more meaningful than ever before.
“You can’t describe that type of creation. You can never really understand it until you finally have a child of your own,” Marshall said.
After almost 66 years of marriage, Lorine Dannheim’s husband William died on Oct. 9.
In her time of grieving, the Farwell resident has found a way to be thankful, according to her pastor, Scott Blazek of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clovis.
Dannheim has received cards, calls, visits, food and support from family and friends, Blazek said in a letter he wrote to the Clovis News Journal.
And the help of strangers has also given Dannheim reason to give thanks.
When she recently took her car for an oil change, she overheard someone from the shop talking about worn tires. She didn’t think anything of it until a friend noted a few days later, “I see you got new tires for your car,” Blazek said.
While the auto shop workers claim they don’t know anything about the tires, Dannheim suspects someone made the change while the car was being serviced. She was not charged for new tires.
Although Dannheim told Blazek she misses her husband, the love of those around her — including the people at that auto shop — and her trust in God has given her something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.