CindyFrench-stranger than fiction stories

about facing life with hope and confidence, no matter the diagnosis

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Early Tampa Years

Posted by Cindy H French on 10/24/2009

Our first home in Tampa had a nice big swimming pool. We moved in the summer, so the kids (and the dog) were in heaven. I loved it too as I got to stay home with them, doing a little secretarial work for Dennis’ business until they moved into their office in the Westshore area.  When Dennis would come home from work, we’d all go swimming together. We had such a great time those few months.

When fall came, it was back to school for the kids. We had moved where we felt the best schools were for them, but for Laurel, it was very hard. Her class had team teaching and ADHD kids don’t do very well unless they are in a structured environment. We worked very hard with her and her teachers. I went to work as an outside sales rep for a temporary staffing company. I thought that this was the best way to get to know the city and the players and really hadn’t met anyone that did search and placement like we did in Atlanta that I wanted to work with. Very quickly I got very consumed with the job and there were many late nights filling job orders for companies to which I had sold our service.

The company sent me to Atlanta for sales training as that was their policy. And it was great sales training! My second time up there, I fell on a broken sidewalk and broke my foot. I came home in a cast and on crutches, but went right back to work. It was my left foot, so I could drive. Of course, my foot didn’t really heal well and as soon as I was out of the cast and off crutches, I re-injured it. Still, I kept working, just in the office for longer this time.

Then my neck started acting up. I had had a car accident back in 1978 in which I had cracked a vertebrae and damaged nerves in my neck as well as sustaining a concussion. Now I was starting to have regular times of just not being able to move or lift my head. I had had occasional bouts of this in Atlanta, but after physical therapy, I always got better. This time, I didn’t really get better. I saw a chiropractor-he did help me a lot more than the therapist. He was very thorough-did a blood test, blood pressure along with xrays. At 36, I had high blood pressure, high chlorestorol and high triglycerides! Well, that scared me for sure! My parents had heart issues and I certainly didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. I changed my diet significantly. I also changed my employment. That changed my blood pressure!

Of course there is more to the story! Our Melissa had fallen for one of the sons of one of the people I worked with. She was 13, he was 18. We caught her sneaking out at night to meet him and Dennis went ballistic! He had had sisters and warned me to watch her more closely,but I of course, couldn’t believe that my daughter would do that! He pulled her out of public school and put her in a private, all girl’s Catholic school. They wore uniforms and no makeup. I picked her up every day and for 6 months, she didn’t have a social life of any kind. I have to admit it worked. We didn’t have any trouble with her behavior after that!

But at work, tension between me and my co-worker was very strong. She, defending her son and his being led astray by my daughter! Dennis wanted to prosecute the boy, but we didn’t. About this time, my dad was stricken with his heart and went through his first quadruple by-pass. Seeing him like that, something in me shifted and I knew that I didn’t want to wind up like that because of a job or my  circumstances.

Dennis and I decided that I would work part time for his company-marketing to designers and architects. Having grown up in the business with my mom and then my sisters and brother, this was an easy transistion for me. I was able to help the business and work the hours I needed to, but be home for the girls.

You notice there is still no God connection in all of these years. Yes, the girls occasionally went to church as I did. But He was not an important part of our home, our decisions, our conversation. I think He was letting the rope out with me. He says that He will never let us go once we are His-and eventually He was going to pull that rope up tight!


One Response to “Early Tampa Years”

  1. Colleen said


    You have been very busy I see and every story is great! Alot of real life experiences and a honest appraisals.

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