Friday, May 23, 2008

And So It Goes
Dear Joseph,
It is just a few days until your first birthday, and the entire family is excited and looking forward to gathering at your house to celebrate. It is supposed to be a very happy time, and it is. We just learned, however, that Grandpa Michael's cousin just died, and that makes us sad.

By time you are able to understand this, you will have some idea of the cycle of life and the fact that life is full of happiness and sadness. But, Joseph, there are different kinds of sadness. I will try to explain.

If a very young person is accidentally killed, it is a tragedy, and the sadness is mixed with bewilderment and even bitterness. A young person has been robbed of his or her life, and we are unable to understand why such things happen.

In the case of Grandpa's cousin, on the other hand, we have what I will call a more understandable death. The man, who you will not remember, was a fine person and a very nice individual. I liked him and don't know anyone who didn't. But he had had lots of illnesses and had lived a fairly long life. He got an infection in his lungs and never recovered. His loss saddens us all yet, at the same time, we can accept this loss as a part of life.

I have no idea when I will leave this life. I don't know if I will be here when you can read and understand this. I hope so. But, if I am gone as you read this, know that I had a long and most wonderful life. Perhaps Mom (my daughter) will show you pictures of me and tell you stories about me. I would like that, and it makes me feel good to think I will be remembered. Know, as well, that part of my greatest joy in life has been having you as my grandson and that I have derived a deep inner joy from your presence. You are a blessing in my life.

Be well,

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