In James’ memory, I want to tell you a little bit about his family. In many Alaskan villages, a lot of people believe in the philosophy of Hilary Clinton..”It takes a village..” But James’ mom and dad believed differently. They believed that their children were their sole responsibility, and they loved them. They have 8 including little James. Howard and I were always impressed by how “hands on” and devoted James (little James was obviously named after his dad) and Sharon were. They were and are excellent parents. Out of all the many children in that village, this was the second biggest family and the most well-behaved. They were always a joy when they came in the store, they were always polite, never demanding, and always smiling and laughing. Sharon would be talking to a person but immediately turn her attention to her babies if they beckoned to her. They were forever, hugging and kissing. This past year, I was at the washeteria and big James brought the whole brood over for their baths and I asked him jokingly what he wanted for Christmas and he looked at me and said “another baby”. He was so serious, and I remember thinking “God love the man who already has 8 kids, wanting yet another one, AND who loves taking care of them.” The teachers there, told me that James was the most active parent in the village. He was the one always volunteering during student functions. Sharon, James, and their family set a loving example to the rest of the community. I remember the last time being with little James and it was at “Slavic”. Also known as Russian Christmas. It was our second year celebrating with them at the home of Charlie and Alice Fitka’s. We laughed together, ate together and listened as the children sang hymns in Russian. I remember the Ishnook children smiling and laughing and having the best time, behaving under the watchful eye of their parents. So, I’m sharing some of these pictures of that special family, during our “Slavic 2005″ celebration. In memory of a special little boy.
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