To the Editor,

This world we inhabit offers us much happiness, sadness, joy and sorrow. Often one after another. So be it.

Last week I was most fortunate to welcome a new granddaughter into my life. The sweetness of her fresh innocence and beauty touched me to my core. The elation of being a grandfather† reminded me once again of how lucky I am to still be able to breathe and experience life in any form or condition. Years ago while living with cancer, one of my root wishes that I clung to when the darkness and pain became unbearable, was to see my children become wonderful adults, which they have beyond my expectations, and to live long enough to see the continuation of my life take form as grandchildren. Now I have five great realizations of that wish. I am truly blessed.

A week later, I learned of the passing of one of my mentors. My ex-father-in-law went to join his wife who he loved passionately his whole life. He was of that generation of men who instead of whining about what some blame on others as obstacles to their success, overcame them and strove past personal limitations to become a positive contributor to the American Dream. He raised a great family, ran a successful business and retired to a life surrounded by the love of his children and grandchildren.

I donít think, based on my observations and time spent with him, that he disliked anyone. Sure, he maybe didnít like what someone did, but it seemed he always found a reason to like you as a person. To look past what others held against you and give you credit just for being yourself. He was a great man in his humanity, his kindness and his ability to make you feel worthy. He was what I hope to be. And I will miss him greatly.

Like I said earlier, we have many different scenarios that spontaneously change what our reality is at any given moment. Some we have a hand in, others we donít. They happen when they happen. Be glad that you are here to experience them all.Itís called life.

Alan Fox,