My dear Cousin,
In many ways, you’re in a better position than I am.
It’s true that my dad is a great achiever. It’s equally true that mom is a super achiever, too. Uncle Ray may not be like my dad and Aunt Lenny is miles different from my mom despite the fact that they’re twins. Yet, I can dare say that you’re truly better off despite the economic squeeze and lack of life’s conveniences in your home.
When we’re still two blocks away from each other, I can well remember one of the many weekends that Mom would drop me and my little sister in your apartment. She’d tell Aunt Lenny that as the main resource person she had to be there in these many speaking engagements and endless meetings. I can’t remember why dad wasn’t home. We’re so used to his absence that we didn’t notice he’s not even home!
I can still clearly picture in my mind how glad Aunt Lenny was to see me and Hazel. She hugged me and kissed Hazel like crazy. I felt so special and so loved. Then with her radiant smile and her gentle voice, she’d tell us to go upstairs to your bedroom and get ready for the fun things that you, your sister, your dad and your mom would usually do together.
When Hazel and your sister had their nap, your mom would read to us stories of triumph or disappointments and tell us tales of wisdom and adventure or about wise and foolish choices or about living and dying or heaven and earth. She would often give a side comment that you and I were marked for greatness or you and I were meant for something grand and noble.
“Jesse, I can see something so special about you.” I clearly remember her saying that to me that day. I can still feel the emotional surge in my soul when I reminisce that precious moment.
Uncle Ray is as kind, too. Remember the time when he told you and me some stories about God or David and Goliath? Those were fun times, indeed!
Yeah, life may be hard on you these days. Not much savings in your account. Not so many parties. A small house for your own growing family. A second-hand car. Less access of today’s modern technology. You don’t have a lot of things, indeed.
But you know what? You have life’s essentials intact in your soul. The love you have with your wife and your kids is so evident. It’s like the time Hazel and I had with Uncle Ray and Aunt Lenny. Your passion for what’s important in life shines through. Your desire for God and your heart to serve Him in your daily life and existence has been so contagious. No wonder people come to listen to your sermons every Sunday without miss and leave for home with hearts touched and moved by an inspiring power to live life as God so intends. Yeah, life essentials – your soul burns with these.
Too bad, I didn’t get those life essentials in my heart. Foolish choices bring me here in this dungeon for the next ten years of my life. I hope you can visit me here or Hazel in the next building’s drug rehabilitation center.
Yes, Joel, you’re in a better position. Please, do visit to remind me of what’s important and what’s not; what’s wise and what’s foolish; what’s fleeting and what’s truly and permanently meaningful.
Your lost cousin,
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