Dear David & Sarah,
A few days ago, while watching one of my favorite old movies, "The Canterville Ghost" (B&W, 1944), it prompted me to pause and reflect upon the marvelous wonder and the works of my own life.
With still another birthday coming on January 27th, it amazes me that my life has been preserved and protected for so many years, and for reasons still mostly unbeknownst to me.
Of course, you both know about my "terminal" cancer in 1981, and much of the rest of the curious events that have transpired in my life since then.
However, I still remember my parents telling me that my birth also came close to being a very short story, with the doctor telling Mom that he didn't expect me to live another twenty-four hours, and, if I did, I would be severely retarded.
Naturally, your Aunt Linda takes great glee in reminding all that the doctor's diagnosis was correct.
Only this week, while climbing to the top of an aluminum extension ladder that I had propped against a humongous hickory tree (to check on potential satellite reception problems at my home), the ladder and I suddenly were dislodged and we both abruptly fell to the ground.
To my utter amazement, I suffered nary a scratch nor a bruise from that tumble.
To be sure, it is true that my "Patriarchal Blessing" (November 29th, 1969) promises me that, my "...Guardian Angel has charge concerning you. He has watched over you thus far, removed many barriers from your way, and has preserved your life for a purpose...."
That purpose still mostly befuddles me, but I at least do know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, knows me personally, just as He knows all of us children of Our Father in Heaven.
And so, one day in the not too distant future, all of us will know as we are known.
I also know that Our Savior knows about all of our trials, that our life experiences are for our eternal good, and that this life is just a stepping stone for much more to come.
For me, as for many others, the oft-quoted line from "A Tale of Two Cities" rings ever true: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.".
As I continue to muse about Sir Canterville's longing to finally be able to sleep "in the soft brown earth", I anxiously look forward to what awaits me, both in this life and the next.