Amazing Kids! Magazine

Frances’ Life

By Elisibeth Kim, age 13, Kent, WA


Frances’ grandfather came to the U.S in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Frances was born January 13, 1929. This was the year of the Great Depression. She currently lives with one of her seven children in Stafford, Virginia. She is 81 years old. Her parents were Nelly and Hubert Wesselman. Read on to find out about her life.

Growing up for Frances was very hard since she was born during the Great Depression. She says her mom would always put her down, saying things that would hurt her feelings. After being born at her aunt’s house, she was brought home for a well-earned rest. But that night, because of an un-insulated house, her diapers froze. At the age of five, they finally moved to a different house that had some new things in it, unlike the last house. Those things were: insulation, a sink, a small pipe for water in the kitchen, and a carry-out pipe that carried the waste water out of the east side of the house and into a small pasture. Frances had one older brother, Clarence, and two younger sisters, Irma and Lennie. Today in 2011, Frances is the only sibling alive.

Frances started her adult life when she went to secretary school in 1947. She finished secretary school in 1949. She was married at the age of 24 to Martin J. Ourada. In 1952, Frances’ dad died because the memories from WWI were so bad he ended up committing suicide. From age 25 to age 30, Frances had four children: Debz, Anne, Paul, and Mark Ourada.

Frances had many challenges. Frances’ husband, Martin, wanted to start his own company, so they had to move back to Idaho. At that point she had four children. After they moved back to Idaho, they had to catch their own chickens. Then they had to kill, pluck, and de-gut them. Frances’ daughter, Anne, says she still remembers the horrid smell they made. Life was hard, but Frances’ parents said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Going from being able to buy your own meat in the store to having to go hunting and de-gutting your meat is a very dramatic move. It would be four years before they were able to buy meat in the store. The only milk they could buy was dry milk. Yuck!!

As Frances got older, she started visiting around the world. Frances had three more children: Laura, John, and Becca Ourada. In 1988, Frances’ husband, Martin, died. This was the same year her daughter, Anne, had a child. Her name is Monica. Then in 1997, Anne had another child, Elisibeth. After Frances had enough of visiting around the world, she moved in with her daughter, Laura and Laura’s husband, Juan.

Frances is still alive today, but she had a harsh life growing up.

As I wrote this essay, I got to know Frances, who is really my grandmother. Before I wrote this, all I knew was that she was 81 years old and lived in Stafford, Virginia. I feel not only closer to her, but I have a lot more respect for her. I hope she lives a long and happy life.