Saturday, April 20, 2013


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. I spent most of my day working outside, mowing the lawn, working on the boy's tree house and other stuff. Not very exciting, but that's okay, I'm not exciting. Tonight I'm probably going to do a little book editing on one of my larger novels and do some work on a children's book I'm doing with your Aunt Erica.
I've other things on my plate too. Keeping busy is good. I miss the little ones, since they've gone back with their biological family, and find that filling my time makes me feel better. Being older and wiser than I once was, I fill my time with productive and good things.
The loss is still there and cannot be ignored forever. I'm not too sad about them being gone really. It's not that I don't miss or love them - I think it has more to do with the fact that nobody promised me they would stay. The plan from the start was for them to return to their biological family and (as unlikely as that was) it happened.
I could get upset with God about it, but that seems silly since he didn't promise me anything either. I feel blessed that they were a part of my life. I keep thinking about an old Zen story about the monk Hakuin and am trying to have his attitude. Here it is -

There once was a beautiful Japanese girl. One day, without any warning, her parents discovered she was pregnant. This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say. When the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. He took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the child needed.
A year later the girl could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - that Hakuin was not the father of her child.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, apologize, and to get the child back.
Hakuin gave them back the child, saying only: "Is that so?"

There are a lot of times in life where a little "Is that so?" would do us all a lot of good. There is a lot of selflessness in that ideal and I'm working on that. I wish the boys could have stayed with us. They were happy here. They were safe here. We got them healthy here. It would have been better for me if they stayed, since my life was so enriched by having them as my children. You just can't always have control over what happens to you in life - It's good practice just to make the best of it. Reminds me of a Steven Crane poem.

A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

Funny stuff.
I guess all I really want to tell you today, Temple, is love whatever life gives you as much as you can because sooner or later we all have to let go. I love you much and miss you always,
Uncle Justin

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