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Caring for Each Other: The Stevens Family

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Patty and Willie Stevens now raise their two great-nephews, a role they never anticipated taking on as they entered their 60s. But when the twins asked to come to live with them, Patty and Willie said yes in an instant and welcomed them with open arms. 

A 13-year-old boy shoots a basketball while his 62-year-old grandaunt looks on.

Photo by Tailyr Irvine for Pivotal Ventures

Patty Stevens, 62, helps her great-nephew, Thomas, 13, with basketball drills at their home on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. When Thomas and his twin brother, Talon, asked if they could live with Patty and her husband, Willie, 63, the couple let go of their vision for their 60s, and prepared to raise another set of teenagers. Thomas and Talon are part of a basketball league that has state-wide tournaments, all summer, and Patty and Willie help them practice and travel to games.

A 62-year-old woman walks beside a brown and white horse as she guides it by the reins, with a field of grass in the background.

Photo by Tailyr Irvine for Pivotal Ventures

Patty walks a horse that escaped through the back fence of her family’s property. That evening, in between watching out for horses and the twins, Patty was preparing a large meal for a youth group she oversees.

A 13-year-old boy drives a four-wheeler with another boy sitting behind him, as his 62-year-old grandaunt watches them, smiling.

Photo courtesy of Pivotal Ventures

Patty allows Thomas and his friend, Jhett, to use the four-wheeler by themselves for the first time. The boys will use the vehicle to help them get around the property while they do their evening chores, which include cleaning the sweat lodge and replenishing the wood supply. While they work, Patty and Willie will teach them the sweat lodge creation story.

A 62-year-old woman sits in the driver's seat of a white vehicle beside her 13-year-old grandnephew; both are smiling.

Photo by Tailyr Irvine for Pivotal Ventures

Patty and Thomas leave to pick up Patty’s granddaughter, Erica, 23, from work. Erica also lives with the Stevenses, along with Thomas and Talon. 

A 62-year-old woman, her 13-year-old grandnephew and his friend study a tree branch together.

Photo by Tailyr Irvine for Pivotal Ventures

Patty teaches Thomas and Jhett about the natural surroundings at their home.

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