February 20, 2014

Lasting Love (Celebrating 50 plus years of marriage): The Westerfields



The newlyweds had a hard time when they first married. Bob was laid off from his job the week before the wedding.

“We moved in with Bob’s parents. They had a large house and plenty of room,” Wilma said. “They had two sons and, right away, accepted me as a daughter. But, I think I cried the whole first year we were married.”

The Westerfields remained with his parents for several months. While living there, Mrs. Mae Westerfield taught her daughter-in-law how to cook. “She was a member of a homemaker’s club and was a wonderful cook. She not only taught me how to cook, but how to garden, can and freeze. We eventually got on our feet, moved out and bought a house. The payment was $89 a month.”

Not only did the couple purchase a new home but welcomed a new addition to the family — daughter Cynthia. They were thrilled with their first child.

“We didn’t realize until she was almost a year old that something could be wrong,” Wilma said. “We took her to a clinic in Barbourville and, after some tests, they told us she was deaf.”

When Cynthia was three the family moved to Lexington.

“We enrolled her in a school for the deaf. She was so smart and learned easily. But, I knew it would take a lot of focus and work to get her ready to fit into a hearing world,” Wilma said. “She never considered herself handicapped.”

Today, Cynthia is married to a man who is also deaf and they have two sons. She walked a postal route in Corbin for some time and currently works in the mailroom for the U.S. Postal Service in Lexington.

“We devoted so much time to Cynthia, I think our other two children, Jason and Heather, feel like they were sometimes left out. But I was determined to see that she had a good life.”

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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