Sent MAY 2, 2005, to a friend who had just lost his Mom:
 
I have been experiencing a real short attention span lately. I think it's my way of reacting/mourning. First my Mom last year, then daughter Ann, then my Aunt Trudie who was like a Mom to us kids, then my Uncle's boy in California, and then his wife.
Too much to not have some reaction.
A week ago my sister came across a sealed letter in my Mom's stuff. It was addressed to "Johnny".
She and Dad were the only persons who called me that.
In it she told me that she had just come back from the doctor, and he had told her that she might drop dead at any moment, due to high blood pressure. Her mother had died that way when Mom was in college.
She was telling me that she hoped that I would get out of the Army without getting killed or maimed, and she went on to give me guidance as to how I should live my life. Without saying it, she was telling me to be exactly like my Dad, who she obviously thought was the way everyone should be.
The best part was the date on the letter - 1958.
She died 46 years later.
 
My wife paid me a compliment when we were driving a distance the following weekend.
She said something like: "Everything that happens to you becomes an event that you embrace and cherish and remember the best parts of."
I agreed.
Then she observed: "I don't think there is anyone else in the world like you."
I agreed with that, too.
Then later she said: "If anything were to happen to you I think I would have to get a cat."
 
Do you wonder why there is so much laughter in my house???