Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. Forgive me for not writing you earlier today. If you're still awake then you should be in bed. This letter will keep until tomorrow. The little ones gave me a hard time today. I let them live. They are lucky. Elijah got a perfect score on his math test today. I'm very proud of him. He's working hard.
Today is my birthday. I'm 33 years old. Birthdays are never as good as when you're young, so enjoy them now. When you get older nothing really stops for you on your special day. Your Aunt Crystal, my family and friends all took time to let me know they cared and the presents were nice. Birthdays have all felt a little different for me since my father passed away.
My dad was a great person. You met him a couple times when you were really small. He liked you, which means he was also a man of good taste. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack when he was 58. I spoke to him on the phone the very evening he died. Just hours before. Your Grandma was staying with us that night, so I'm sure she remembers it well. I remember a time several months after that when your Grandma was again visiting us and the phone rang in the middle of the night. It turned out to be some trivial thing thank goodness. Before I picked up the phone I told your Aunt Crystal that if someone else died your Grandma wasn't allowed to visit any more. :)
Anyway, there I go on a tangent again. When you have a parent that passes early you can't but help watch the clock on your life at little more poignantly. I was 27 when he died. You do that math and at this point, if I go around the same time he did, I've lived over half my life. Strange, I don't feel that old. I bet he didn't either.
My birthdays since he died have felt a little off to me. I can't quite put a finger on why, but I think it has to do with him. There's nothing wrong with feeling a little off. Smiles are easy to fake. It's better than people asking you what wrong and you don't know why. Then the well-meaning people start giving you suggestions as to the reason of why you feel off, and then you feel worse since you didn't realize just before that there was so much for you to feel down about.
There's always reasons to feel down and depressed. It's much harder to feed the positive side of yourself. It takes more effort for some reason. I don't know why God set up the good and valuable aspects of a person to be the more difficult to attain, but he did. If there's one thing I know about God, it's that he likes to keep things interesting.
Really, it's that God knows that everything worth something takes effort. The harder you work for something the more precious it is.
Your Aunt Crystal got me a shaving set. It's nice. She wants me to shave more. Your Grandparents gave me some money which I will save for my next project car. My mom got me an Ebay gift card. My sister got me an Amazon gift card and my other sister is sending her husband, my brother-in-law, down to take me to a Rams game. My Grandparents sent me a nice card. Not a bad haul.
The babies cried and screamed for hours. Maybe it was a birthday present to show me how much they needed me. Maybe not.
I should go to bed. My typing is keeping your Aunt Crystal awake. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day for the boys. Tomorrow will not be my birthday so I'm sure whatever odd feeling I have going on will pass. God willing,I'll make it to 34 (I don't see why not - I've made it this far) and I will have another opportunity to feel odd. Joy of joys!
I love you much and miss you always,
                            Uncle Justin

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