Today is my 58th birthday. It feels like 88, but that's because I have never BEEN 88. I am extrapolating without enough data.
Things I have to be thankful for:
Two days ago, my oldest daughter wrecked her mother's car. Fortunately, neither she nor her alleged boy friend (as opposed to boyfriend) were hurt. She was not paying attention, someone turned left in front of her, and she hit the ditch to avoid the rear end collision. She did manage to screw it upside the only concrete culvert for a few hundred yards. (Sigh.) Still, this is a cause for celebration. She was not hurt. Unfortunately neither was her attitude, but that's another story. Everything else is just money, and money isn't important (as God continues to remind me in all sorts of ways).
I am less invested with abject joy at the fact that her alleged boy friend escaped injury, viewing him as I do as a lizard-brained penis life support system typical of the teenage breed of the species. I have a similar jaundiced view of my youngest daughter's boyfriend (no attempt to shade THAT truth on HER part). Yet the danger that these creatures pose to my daughters is, for the most part, yet to realized, if at all, in the future. For this I am thankful. I will probably end up either
a. having them as sons-in-law, or, more likely,
b. trying to console my daughters on long distance telephone (with them at Southern Miss and me in Alabama) when the relationships with the faithless lizard brains fall apart (having already done this with my oldest daughter WITH THE SAME GUY a year or so ago, I know whereof I speak).
Yet, this too shall pass, and I am grateful -- and thankful -- that we have raised them to the point where they CAN both go off to college as well-rounded, independent (Oh, Lord HOW independent) young women.
I am also thankful that my hyperbaric oxygen treatments are done, as they took a huge chunk out of my days during the week and left me feeling wasted. My wounds remain, although much reduced and well on the way to healing. We will see how they fare without HBO.
My son Matthew is past the half-way point of his third tour of Iraq safely and I am very thankful for that. I am even more thankful for his wife, Nicole. After his awful experience with his first wife, the boy deserved a break and she sure has been that. A wonderful girl, a loving wife and the mother of my second grandson Gabriel, Nicole is real jewel. Like me, I think, this will be Matthew's second and last wife.
I am grateful beyond words, too, that Rosey and I have made it this far (our 25th wedding anniversary approaches in November) and that soon, with the girls off to college, we have a chance to just be the two of us again.
I am less happy about the state of Absolved, now almost out of editing limbo. It is obvious that I lied when told y'all back in April that it was done. I thought it was. It wasn't. No published work is done until the editing process is done and I was stupid (out of inexperience, surely, but stupid nonetheless) to think differently. There have been changes. I think they make the work better, although I will confess that some of them I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to. At present, it looks like I'll have hard-copies by October and I intend to set up at Knob Creek and thumb my nose with a great big smile at the ATF as they walk by.
Mostly though I am grateful for the success of Sipsey Street and for the continued attention or y'all to my scribblings. I think we have made some slight difference to the world we find ourselves in. I hope that we will make more of a difference in the future. Certainly being denounced by the serial perjurer Bill Clinton is an indication that we are pointed in the right direction.
I am also grateful for the catechism written for us by "Female III" the other day, who summed up how I am thinking at this particular moment:
We're conceived, we live this life and we die. Most die from illness or old age. Some from accidents. Others are given the chance to do great things for great reasons. How would you choose to live and die? On the golf course?
I am grateful to be facing the enemy of God and my country because it is a chance for me to inflict great damage upon them. Nobody gets out of this alive. I choose to live and die fighting the enemy. What a great time to be an American.
What a great time indeed. We are called to the greatest cause that men and women CAN be called to: the retrieval of liberty from the jaws of voracious tyranny.
History is watching. Let us fight, and win.
THAT would be the greatest birthday gift of all.
But, like most things worth having, it won't come cheap.