Chapter 2
My Parents

MY parents have had several experiences before and after they met.

My dad, Dennis Million, comes from a family of ten children. The family lived in Duluth, Minnesota. He had a twin brother named Dewey. They were born three months premature and were given 100% oxygen in the incubators. This caused them to become blind. They attended the Minnesota Braille & Sight Saving School in Faribault. My Dad and Dewey were both really good wrestlers and track stars. In 1959 they were voted outstanding athletes of the year for the state of Minnesota. My dad used to bend horse shoes, push freight cars, lift cars off the ground and bend steel bars. Later on he found out that he had a great great cousin, Louis Cyr, who at one time was considered the strongest man whoever lived.

My mom, Maureen Toonkel, grew up in New York City. She lived only a few blocks from the famous Bronx Zoo as a child and she went there every Sunday to feed bread to the animals. In high school my mom was the news editor for the school newspaper and she won a award from the New York City Classical Association for being one of the best Latin in New York City. My mom was a volunteer in the eye clinic at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx while she attended college. After graduating from college in 1976 she decided to go to Mankato, Minnesota to earn a master's degree. She was only going to stay in Minnesota for one year but, lucky for her and me, things happened different then she planned.

My parents met at Services for the Blind. My mom had just completed her master's degree and was hired as a rehabilitation counselor in January 1978. My dad was in a master's degree program and he began an internship in September, 1978 at Services for the Blind where my mom was working. They became instant friends. At the time my dad was in the process of getting a divorce from his first wife, Elaine. My parents never really had a first date as they were co-workers and spent a lot of work time together. They bought the house that we still live in right before they got married. They had their wedding right in their new house. They were married on Saturday, December 8, 1979. They went on their honeymoon in April, 1980. New York City and Niagara Falls, Canada was their choice for the perfect honeymoon.

My parents enjoy pen paling and they have about 200 pen pals who live all over the world. They took a trip to England and Israel to meet some of their pen pals. A few of their pen pals have come to the USA to visit them. They still enjoy traveling and as a result I have gotten to go on a lot of fun vacations.

And, lucky for me, my parents decided to adopt a child: me.

Next chapter: Arriving in the USA
Previous chapter: Ancestors
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