By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
Chad Hutson and his children, Lance, Taylor and Grant, are not your traditional nuclear family, he said.
“No. We don’t have that. It’s just the four of us. I’m pretty proud of my family.”
They had that traditional kind of family for a long time, he added.
“But things happen.”
That life disappeared when he divorced about a year ago.
“These last 12 months have defined our family. We’ve overcome and are in the light at the end of the tunnel, which is good.”
The kids — Lance, 21; Taylor, 18; and Grant, 8 — have “totally different personalities,” he said.
“They are completely different individuals. We’ve had hardships, family-wise, but they’ve all stuck together. We’ve made it as a family.
“But I shouldn’t be surprised we made it through the tough times. We see so many families fall apart. But this (divorce) actually strengthened my family, all in their own way.
“I see how tender Lance and Taylor are toward their little brother, and protective. He idolizes them both. They are their heroes.
“That dynamic is something to really be proud of.”
Lance has a sense of humor and responsibility, and a hard work ethic, Hutson said.
“He’s also very conservative-minded. Taylor is more fun-loving and happy-go-lucky. Grant is rambunctious but yet serious about many things at times, but has a great imagination.
“All three are very loving. They’re exceptional in that regard.”
Their faith is the center of their family life, he said.
“Most of our social life is centered around our church. We have a very strong faith, but we’re not perfect people.
“We know that God holds tomorrow. Certain things hurt for now, but God will work it out for our good. We’ve grown closer to him in the process.”
A funeral director, Hutson has learned to take over household chores, like cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry.
“Those things I never had to do,” he said. “But the kids pitch in and help. At first, we were like chasing our tails and were discombobulated, but things have gelled and come together. We have overcome and are working through things.
“We’ve drawn closer as a result. We’re making it work.
“But as far as having a mom and dad and three kids, it’s not like that now.
“I can’t change that and they can’t change it, but we’ve accepted it and choose to live, and that’s what we’re doing.”
They do things as a family, he said. Church. Vacations. Skiing.
“Things like that. Grant loves to fish. I hate to fish, but I’ve spent a lot of time fishing.”
Lance attends college and works full time. Taylor is a senior at North Marion. Grant goes to Blackshere.
“I pride myself in knowing my kids are provided for and that I can teach them in life and set an example for them in every area of my life, to live upright and just. They see that. I want to instill in them character and values.
“And they know stability, that there is someone they can count on. That matters a lot.
“There is so much uncertainty and instability in the world today, no steadiness. That has adverse effects on the psyche. You become less trusting and live more for the moment and don’t worry about tomorrow. That’s not good for anybody.
“We need stability, someone to show us the way.”
Considering everything, he said, the kids are all right.
“They are incredible kids. They really are. I am so proud of them. They love each other and are happy.
“All I can say is we’re doing the best we can. I’m proud of them. It’s certainly a privilege to be their father.”
Email Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.