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Some families are known for their expertise in sports and education. Our family is known for letting the good times roll.

The reason for our latest joyous occasion was the marriage of our oldest grandchild, Ashley. It was a great celebration, but one of the many reasons that made this event so wonderful was that when this beautiful bride was born, her mother – our daughter, Karen – was only 16 years old and a junior in high school.

I would never ever recommend this particular situation to anyone, but sometimes things happen.

I will never forget the day Karen called me at work – I worked on a maternity floor, of all places – and asked me what time I would be home. I had no clue how our lives were going to change in the coming months. As soon as I arrived home, Karen handed me a pregnancy kit which registered a positive sign. For the first time in my life, I was speechless. My husband Allen and I were still raising our three children.

But there was one thing I did know: Here was my beautiful daughter who I had loved since the day she was born, and I would continue to love her, no matter what. Of course, everyone and their brother had an opinion of why this happened and what to do about it. Many were very supportive, others were not so kind.

The months flew by quickly and early in December Karen gave birth to a big, beautiful baby girl whom she named Ashley. I was amazed that “motherhood” came naturally to this teenage girl. We arranged our schedules to help Karen out, but she was the primary caregiver to this cute little angel who had entered our lives. She was so loving, patient and attentive to Ashley. Karen was wise beyond her years.

She managed to work part time while furthering her education. She became a licensed beautician always working full-time hours and then some. Karen and Ashley lived with us until Ashley was 6 or 7 years old, and it was time to leave our nest. Even though Karen was supporting herself and her child she managed to save money to purchase items for a household. Their apartment was only five minutes away. Because Karen always tried to make everything perfect, we gave her the title of “Mrs. June Cleaver.”

The years flew by and Karen met a great guy – Dave. They fell in love, and married. Karen had three more children, Hannah, Miranda and DJ.

Karen not only helped and encouraged Ashley to go to college, but last year Ashley graduated from college with honors.

A few weeks ago, Karen walked Ashley down the aisle into the arms of her husband-to-be. We hope they live happily ever after.