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February 20, 2014

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

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

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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