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In the kitchen a woman whose hair is just beginning to gray, named Kimberly Pope, cooks oatmeal for her five grandchildren. They sit happily in the comfort of their home, thinking of what to do with this summer day. Their parents are all at work, and their grandmother provides for them during the day. At times taking care of a house full of kids takes it toll on Ms. Pope. She's no stranger to child rearing, having raised her own children as well as taking in other's at times. She gets weary, but she loves every one of her grandchildren and enjoys all the time she can spend with them. Her two oldest grandchildren, Zoey, 5 years old and Elijah, 6 years old, do what they can around the house to help and watch their younger cousins, Dominique, 3 years old, Camille, 2 years old, and their younger brother Isiah, 1 year old, when it's appropriate. One could wonder how Ms. Pope handles the stress, when many younger parents buckle under the stress of having one child in the house. Ms. Pope's story is one of love and compassion. She was born into a large family 1953 in Newark, NJ. She attended Essex County College and at the age of 17 she had her first child, Gary Pope. Soon after she married John Pope, and had three more children, Tiffany Pope, Leesa Pope, and Aaron Pope. During this time she grounded herself into her religion, which proved to be a corner stone of who Kimberly Pope is. She instilled into her children an unwavering faith in God and built her life and morals around those of Christianity. After her oldest daughter started college, Ms. Pope decided to move to Riverdale, a town on the outskirts of Atlanta. She lived in an apartment complex next to her oldest son Gary, who had now married and had a child of his own. Gary Jr. always knew that grandmother was a short walk away. She was there when he or his father needed her, always lending a helping hand to take care of Gary Jr. or someone to talk to when Gary or his wife needed it. In the year 2000, Ms. Pope's brother in New Jersey, Martin Fearrington, was going through a divorce with his wife of 13 years. As he couldn't support the house they lived in on his salary without his wife, his 3 kids, Mart, Matthew, and Michael, had no real place to live in the downtime. Never
ceasing to offer a helping hand, Ms. Pope offered to take her nephews into her home in Atlanta for a year while her brother got his life settled out. Ms. Pope turned out to be a large factor in the boys lives. She took her nephews into her home with no hesitation, and raised them like they were her own. And when their father had finally settled things in New Jersey, she decided to move back to New Jersey with the boys. For the next 4 years of their lives, Ms. Pope watched over them and took care of them, until they moved to Ohio with their mother. Even today, she still gives what she can to everyone around her. Her time, her love and her money, Ms. Pope is the person who buys homeless people dinner. The person who gets mini-TV's for secret santa instead of buying useless decorations. She's got a slow temper and is quick to forgive. Living with her 3 of her kids and 5 grandchildren forces her to be. It's hard to say how they all ended up together in that house on the hillside, but she makes the best of her situation and does what she can for her kids. Even though her sons don't live with her, her son Gary moved to an area close to them as he felt it was best for his family. Sometimes his 2 sons visit the house and join the hustle and bustle of the life of Ms. Pope, and get to know their grandmother better. And every Sunday, all the branches of the Pope family in Atlanta gather together and goto church, where they relax after the troubles of the week. After wards they come back to that blue house, eat dinner and laugh with each other as they play dominoes or card games. And in that blue house sits Ms. Pope, surrounded by her offspring, cooking dinner. She can't help but smile, no matter how much work it is. A woman with a bottomless heart and a house full of kids.