cathsparks is a 1970 model writer, disability advocate, spouse of 22 years, adoptive parent of grown children, and grandmother of 4. She’s been creating stories since early childhood, when she wrote her earliest work, “The Dog Who Ate Spaghetti”. (Spoiler alert: It’s about a dog who—wait for it—eats spaghetti.) Cathy enjoys backroads travel, ethnic cuisine, reading dystopian and mystery fiction, watching classic and documentary film, and doing family history research. Professionally, she’s been everything from a small-town waitress, to a youth minister, a hat and handbag saleslady, a licensed early childhood ed director, and even a case manager for kids with Severe Emotional Disturbance. Politically an odd duck, she has friends that run the gamut from Socialist to Tea Party, and nearly everywhere in between. Likewise, Cath has many chums who share her Christian faith, to be sure, but also enjoys meaningful friendships with folks who embrace other paths, including agnostics and atheists. There is no singular Sparks litmus test for fellowship, other than an honest effort at mutual respect.
She and her husband, Jason (who was her first kiss, 29 years ago), live with their oldest, a son—an accomplished Special Olympian—and several ferocious house-cats. (Three of them “grand-kitties”, as well as an “elder-cat” who is 19+. They also have a “grand-lizard” in another locale.) He has activities several days a week, lots of friends, and is active in community group, and men’s bible study nights (though he skips the suds), retreats, church work days, and more. He’s developing job skills through volunteer programs, and striving for appropriate independence in all these areas and more. He is excited to be traveling to Wisconsin, where he and his parents will check out a college for people with Intellectual Disabilities, with 3 nights in the dorms and the opportunity to hang with current students and sit in on classes. If all goes well, he’ll be the last to leave the nest, in 2018.
Their daughter—a college Senior in the Midwest—lives in a house off-campus, and works part-time, while double-majoring in Psychology and Ministry. (That’s a lot of hyphenates!) She’s active in community group, plays drums for chapel, and lived for a semester in Siberian Russia. She married a 2017 seminary graduate and ordained minister in October of that year. The newlyweds welcomed a 13 year old to their family in 2018, and are his legal guardians, making him the 1st human grandson for the Sparks’. Cath and Jason enjoy spending time with their grown-up kids, at their small 1940 Tudor revival, in East Nashville’s Inglewood neighborhood, several times a year.
Their youngest and his bride live in an adjoining Southern state, where he drives a forklift, and is hoping to build a steady career in middle management. They have a brilliant and beautiful 2 year old girl, who Grammy and Grampy adore, recently debuted another granddaughter in August 2017, and are adding a son to the mix in September 2018. Both girls, of course, are practically perfect in every way. In Nashville, Cath, Jason, and their oldest son attend Restoration, a diverse, loving body of believers who accept them, flaws and all. They are sin-prone, messy creatures, living in a temperamental 78 year old Tudor cottage with too many books, and their maximum number of felines. After an insanely hectic 2017, they look forward to 2018 being a good bit less frenetic. One can dream, anyway.