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I'll Give You the World

I would first like to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to all the people whose prayers, love, and concern for Laurie and I over the last ten months have wrapped us in a halo of comfort and light and saw us through a most difficult period.  I am thankful for the hundreds of people with whom we have traveled and whose friendship has enriched our lives with such pleasant recollections.  What a blessing it is from life and the Lord to hold dear people from Vienna to Cairo, from Ireland to Guatemala.

One year ago I had no idea what profound changes would come into my life.  Laurie and I had looked so forward to my retirement so we could spend time with each other and widen our love for this wonderful world upon which we dwell.  Cancer came, however, and brought with it new challenges to which we had to shape ourselves.  I think what bothered us both as the reality continued to dawn upon us that there would not be what we called “Hezekiah time,” –no  turning of the sundial’s shadow backwards as a guarantee that the Lord was granting more life—was how much we would miss of what we had planned and looked forward to doing.

I had retired early, a mere three months before the seizures came which announced the growing tumor in her brain, specifically to spend more time with her. When people would ask me why I was retiring so early I would tell them, “Because I do not want anything to happen to either Laurie or I to cut short the time I want to spend with her.  Five more years of work may compromise all we want to share.” I wanted her to know she was first in my life, above teaching the scriptures, above speaking assignments, or leadership calls, or writing books, or landscaping the yard, or directing tours, or even raising children.

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