Saturday Spotlight- Jane Groneman Kinsella

Name: Jane Groneman Kinsella
Age: 60!!! (How did THAT happen so fast?!)
Occupation: Principal’s Secretary at St. James Elementary School
Married to: Richard Kinsella
Children: Four sons: Jared, 36, Jeremy, 33, Patrick, 31, and Brett, 26
Grandchildren: 3 girls (Yeah, finally girls!) Anna, 11, Beth, 8 and Lyla, almost 6
Happy Saturday, Warriors!! Thanks to Lou for letting me have the honor to “speak my piece”! (You’ll be sorry when I’m done, Lou! LOL!) I would also like to thank Colleen McKillop who brought me to “The Hills” for the first time in 2013! Her enthusiasm for “The Hills” and all the wonderful people connected to them was infectious and I, too, have come to love them both (The Hills and the people)!
I was born in Bethpage, New York, to Alice and Walter Casper. There were five of us, Susan, Ricky, Michael, David and I was the baby! Being the baby I guess you could say I was spoiled! (I had every Barbie and Ken doll Mattel made!) We had an absolutely wonderful childhood! We grew up on a street where there were 52 kids from one end of the block to the other, so there was always someone to play with! And there was always laughter in my house! My Dad was especially funny! It was crazy, of course, but always fun! I went to St. Martin of Tours School, then to Plainedge High School. I met my husband, Steve Groneman, at the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1973. We were married in 1977 and lived in Scotland the first year of our marriage while he worked on an oil rig in the North Sea. We moved back to the USA in 1979, bought a house in Smithtown and started a family. Four boys, a dog, and four cats later and we were a packed house!! Those were busy, fun times taking care of the house and family while Steve was sailing as Chief Mate and later as Master on tankers for Sun Oil. He would be away for 90 days and home for 60 days. I had always liked running, but never joined a team or club. Eventually, the boys were old enough to leave alone while I would go out for a quick 3, 4, or 5 mile run around the block! It was the best way to clear the head and focus on what was next on the agenda for the day! I loved running and looked forward to it every morning before the boys would go to school. As a family, we would run the St. John’s (now St. Catherine’s) Hospital “Run for the Health of it” 5K. It was a great way to get out there and run together! Steve ran the Long Island Marathon twice (aIthough I did not have any idea why anyone would want to run that far)!! But, we would all go to cheer him on and make a great day of it! I continued to run local races of 5K or 10K over the next few years, and, at some point, my brother, Michael, who lived in Georgia and was a casual runner like me, suggested we should both enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon. I still don’t know why, but I said, “Sure, why not?!” Wouldn’t you know that was the lottery we would win (there was no money included in this lottery)!! I ran my first marathon with my brother on November 3, 2002 in NYC! What better first marathon could there be?! Well, that was it! I had been bitten by the Marathon bug! Unfortunately, 2002 brought sadness into our lives as well. Steve had been diagnosed in May of 2002 with Hodgkins Lymphoma after battling and beating Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma two years earlier. He endured surgeries and chemo treatments throughout all of 2002. He did everything he thought he needed to, once again, beat the disease, but it took his life in December of 2002. After that, running became an integral part of the grieving process. It cleared my head and opened my heart! After Steve’s death, I went to St. Patrick’s Bereavement Group. It was facilitated by Sr. John Andre, who we all considered to be our guardian angel during our darkest, saddest time! It was a caring, loving place to share our thoughts and feelings. It was a wonderful group of dear people, all learning how to deal with “the new normal” after losing a spouse. I became very close to one person in particular and we were married two years later in 2005! His name is Richard Kinsella and, between us, we have eight children and 7 granddaughters and feel very blessed to have found love and happiness again. Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! See you on Memorable Monday!! Enjoy the weekend and….get out there and run!! ☺

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