Three of Jeri Fields’ children had already left home. Her oldest son Aaron and his wife Felicia already had two children. Her adopted son Jamie and his wife Terry had no children. Jamie’s military career kept him very busy and he told his mother they weren’t ready. And then there was Candace. No one knew her whereabouts or what had happened to her. Though Jeri feared the worst, she never gave up on Candace.
But she couldn’t dwell on her missing daughter. Her other children still needed her.
“I don’t know if they all needed me so much as I needed them. It was hard to watch them get older and know that they were going to move on with their lives without me.”
Benjamin Fields and his girlfriend graduated from high school and were quickly engaged.
“I was excited that Erica and Ben were engaged. They’d been together for a long time. She had a good job at the consignment shop and Ben was going to be a painter and a writer.”
Glenna Fields, Candace’s twin, continued to live at home while working as a P.I.
“Glenna had taken over the care of her niece, Lila. I was afraid that she might want to move out on her own, but she didn’t seem to want to. I am glad. I couldn’t bare for Lila to have another loss in her life.”
Jeri’s career was doing well despite her emotional state after Candace disappeared. Jeri took comfort in her fans and stayed busy going to premieres and attending promotional events.
Her hard work paid off when she was awarded a Sim’s Choice award for her role as an aging alcoholic singer/song writer in “High Note Falls”.
“I was honored that I was chosen out of all of the talented actresses up for the award. It’s hard for women of a certain age to get good parts. Getting recognized for my work almost took the sting out of losing another child.”
Ben and Erica exchanged vows at a private wedding held at the Bonsai Lounge.
“Phillip and I were happy for them, of course, but it always hurts when one of your babies leaves you. I was looking forward to the grandchildren they’d give me, but I hated seeing Ben move out.”
Soon after Ben left, both Nick and Jenna had birthdays.
“Nick was going to be a challenge as a teen. I knew that from the minute I saw his new hair cut. It didn’t matter that he was wearing glasses, on him they were cool.
As for Jenna, she was still a special child. She was developmentally behind other children of her age. She rarely spoke and needed a lot of extra attention from both myself and Phillip.”
“Jenna liked to wander. It terrified us now that she was old enough to go out on her own occasionally. She wasn’t supposed to do it, but she often forgot to tell us that she was going on a bike ride or a walk.”
“We both worried about her. I was afraid that someone might take advantage of her disability.”
“The good thing was that Jenna’s sweet nature meant that all of her siblings were looking out for her. Micki taught her to paint and Nick let her listen to his music. Glenna showed her how to work out so that she could be strong.”
Lila Fields and her aunt Jenna were about the same age. The two girls were very close.
“Lila would never let anything happen to Jenna. They were raised practically as sisters. Lila was a brave girl like her aunt Glenna. She had a good heart, too, and would do anything for Jenna. If people picked on Jenna, Lila was more than ready to step in.”
Jeri and Philip had never given up their dream of adopting more children. With Ben moved out, they decided that it was time to put their plans into action.
“We talked about it a lot. We wanted to help someone less fortunate. Instead of looking for a child in our country, we looked for one in Africa. Homa was an orphan girl from Ethiopia. Her family had been killed in a fire. The poor girl had no surviving relatives. When we heard her story, we knew she was meant to come to our family.”
“Homa was about the same age as Lila and Jenna. We hoped that being in the same school would not only help Jenna but also help Homa fit in. But she was behind in her education. I spent several weeks tutoring her so that when school started she wouldn’t feel so different.”
“Lucy was also a big help. She took care of all of us. I don’t know what we would do without her! All of the kids just love her. It doesn’t feel like she is the nanny. It just feels like she is part of the family.”
“It is a pure joy to be a part of the Fields’ family. Mr. and Mrs. Fields are the most kind and generous people. I was pleased when they took in Homa. My sweet Jenna needed all the friends she could get.”
“It’s not that my older children ignored their younger sister. They were all very good to her as I mentioned before, but with Lila and Homa around, Micki and Nick could pursue their own interests.
Micki was really taking after my dad. I suppose that shouldn’t have surprised me since I named her after him and gave her his guitar. Aside from painting, it was all she ever did. Nick also liked music; he inherited Daddy’s piano, but he preferred to spend most of his time working at his work bench in the garage.
I’m not sure what he was making in there. He was very secretive about it.”
“Nick has a tendency to be quite inappropriate. I get exasperated with him at times. For example, when all of my other children were cheering me on at my birthday, Nick was cracking jokes about me getting older and laughing at my wrinkles and the fact that I dyed my hair.”
“I thought Jeri was still quite beautiful. She was worried about people losing interest in giving her jobs now that she was older, but I thought she’d be just fine. Her aunt Virginia continued to have quite a thriving career after she turned 50.”
“I couldn’t help but be worried. I was a grandmother of 3 (Aaron’s two, Aleksy and Allyson, and Lila) and a mother of 9! (Aaron, Jamie, Benjamin, Candace, Glenna, Micki, Nick, Jenna, and Homa). I worked hard to stay in shape so that I appeared younger. I died my hair so that people would remember me. The color of my hair is one of my strongest attributes. But I know that the film industry is very fickle. I could be replaced by anyone.”
Jeri shouldn’t have been worried about her career, though. After writing a screenplay about her grandmother Kara Fields and playing the Kara as she got older, Jeri won another award. She got the Best Picture Green Globe as well as the Best Screenplay.
“I was really proud of the story. Grandma Kara had such an interesting life. I may not have been able to play the role of my grandmother, but I was honored that everyone liked the movie so much.
I prepared my acceptance speech very carefully for this award. I wanted to make a good impression. I didn’t want to screw up.”
Jeri attended the award ceremony with Philip. Then she added the Green Globe award next to her Sim’s Choice trophy.
“I was so happy for my wife. I had never doubted her abilities. I knew she’d continue to succeed. It was wonderful to watch her give her speech to the other members of the film industry. I was so proud.”
Jeri wasn’t the only Fields to attract the attention of the press and members of the industry. Micki was also garnering attention.
“She was just as talented as Daddy. I wasn’t surprised when she was asked to sign with a record label as a teen. I was shocked when she turned them down.”
“I felt like I was too young to start my career. I didn’t want to be some flash in the pan like that Friday girl on SimTube. I figured I’d just continue to practice and grow as an artist. I want to be ready when I start making music for real.”
Glenna Fields was also getting some attention from the press, but not for her success as a P.I. She was caught in a compromising position at a concert at the stadium.
“I didn’t even know that Glenna was seeing someone. I was just as shocked as everyone else when the news hit the tabloids.”
“Glenna was just good friends with Cho, or at least that’s what we thought. Cho often came over to our house to spend time with Glenna, and she frequently brought her friend Anita.
We all knew that Cho was gay. It didn’t bother me or Philip. I just didn’t think that Glenna was also gay. I was shocked.”
“My relationship with Cho was my private business. She was my guest at Ben’s wedding. We went out a few times as friends. Then things changed. She broke up with Anita and let me know that it was because she had feelings for me.”
“Our relationship wasn’t exactly a secret, but I hadn’t told anyone. Things at the concert got out of hand. I should have known I’d been followed. It wasn’t until after that I realized what had happened.”
Glenna Fields was mortified when the tabloids exposed her public affection with Cho.
“She was very embarrassed. Glenna couldn’t stop apologizing. She was worried that this publicity would hurt my career as well as her own.
The thing about publicity is that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I assured Glenna that I wasn’t worried. I made her promise to bring Cho by the house so that we could get to know her better.”
Soon after, Glenna and Cho moved in together.
“I expected it. But it was hard to let Glenna go. And worse, Lila decided to move with her and Cho. I really had a hard time saying goodbye to my grand daughter. I knew that both Homa and Jenna would really miss her.”
But Jeri and Philip didn’t let their house stay empty forever. They decided to adopt again. First they adopted a Nigerian boy named Moses and then another child from Ecuador named Paulo.
“People were critical about our adopting children from other countries, but we learned that helping children from impoverished backgrounds and tragic situations, made us feel really good, like we were making a difference in the world. It wasn’t that we weren’t willing to adopt a child from our own country. We’d done so with Jamie, after all, but Moses and Paulo and Homa’s stories really touched our hearts. We felt that they were meant to be ours.”
The new additions to the Fields family did not keep Jeri from loving her natural born children. Micki, Nick and Jenna did not feel that their parents had neglected them.
“Philip spent a lot of time with each of the kids and Lila, too, before she moved out with Glenna.”
“We loved all of our children equally.”
Philip even made sure to bond with his grand children.
“Allyson came over to the house frequently and sometimes so did Felicia and Aaron. Felicia was pregnant again. She was hoping for another girl.”
“Ben and Jamie sometimes came over, too. They hung out with Nick, which was good for him.
I felt badly for Jamie. Things had gone badly with his wife Terry, and the two of them had split up.”
“Jamie said that his career in the military was too much for Terry. They divorced after three years of marriage. He was dating a new girl, Jade Greenwood, but he said they were taking things slowly.”
Micki Fields was the next of Jeri’s children to leave the nest. After a large party at the Fields’ home, she announced that she was taking the recording contract that she had turned down earlier.
“She also let us know that she was going to move in with her older brother Jamie while she was getting started. Phillip and I were glad that she’d have Jamie’s more mature influence to keep her from making the mistakes in the music industry that my dad did. Not that I thought she’d become a party animal, but nevertheless I was still glad she wouldn’t be alone.”
“Micki’s announcement that she was moving out made Phillip’s and my decision to adopt one more child much easier.
I’d been doing a lot of charity work at the local hospital and had fallen in love with one of the babies there. The baby was in the NICU and her mother had abandoned her. She was so precious. She reminded me of little Jenna as an infant, and I knew that Philip and I were meant to be her parents.”
As soon as she was well enough to be released from the NICU, the social worker brought Jeri and Phillip their last child, Fiona Fields.