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Page 7 of 7 pages
Thanks to all of you. The feelings are mutual. I would like to say this: I feel like old King Hezekiah of Judah. Here's a blurb: "In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life."--Isaiah 38:1-5
You see, when I had my truck accident back in 1991 I knew I was dead. I knew the terrain and that it was a looooooong way down where I went off the road. I wasn't scared. Just a little sad. They say that before you die your life flashes before your eyes.
That didn't happen with me. I saw my future--or rather what I was going to miss. My oldest was two, my youngest seven months old. I thought that I would miss my youngest first steps, her first words, their first day of school, their graduations, letting them cry on my shoulder after a boy broke their hearts for the first time etc.
If the moment before I lost consciousness an angel appeared and said to me: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life" I would've been deliriously happy. Guess what? I got that 15 years and then some. If that's all I am allotted how can I be anything but grateful? I saw my girls grow from cute babies to fine young women. I've seen them both graduate into high school and come June I will see my eldest in a cap and gown yet again. I saw first steps, heard first words and hugged my family thousands of times over the last decade and a half. I relearned how to walk, I went camping again many times and hiked hundreds of miles in the woods and lost countless monster fish while on the water.
I began a writing career, came across some awesome folks and I've never enjoyed a writing gig more than THT. We're rocking the 'net and I'm looking forward to seeing THT grow into something major.
I'm not done. There are intiations to perform, editors to drive insane, team presidents of South Florida NL clubs to heckle. I'm pretty sure I owe most the staff a round of beers--a debt which I intend to pay. On the home front there's cap and gowns on the horizon and a couple of walks down the aisle and brides to give away. There are grandchildren to be bounced on my knee (did I just write that--cripes I must be gettin' old). I've been on "bonus time" since November 1991 so I view this battle as simply an attempt to keep the party rolling.
I'm grateful for every day. And I'm grateful that I get to work with a bunch of guys every bit as batshit insane as me :-)
I intend to be grateful for awhile yet.
So I was walking in the forest with a six-year old girl the other day, and after a few minutes she started to cry. I asked her why she was crying, and she said that she was scared. I could only say one thing in response.
"You're scared? I'm the one that's going to have to walk back to the car by myself."
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