Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Year's Eve Letter

Happy New Year to all of you.
I decided to get a big jump on my annual year end letter. I assume that soon I will be receiving a letter or email from some of you highlighting your achievements and those of your family and as always, I wanted to start the ball rolling.

What a great year this has been! My oldest son received a grant from the Methodist Church for inner-city ministry with which he purchased and funded a homeless shelter in downtown Pittsburgh. In keeping with his humility, he and his family live, incognito, in the shelter so as to better minister to those who come there for a time. My second son liquidated his entire portfolio and moved to Borneo to live in a hut and serve the population there by digging fresh water wells by hand. His wife works as a mid-wife in training.

My oldest daughter has been promoted once more at the corporation where she works. She's now the vice-president in charge of all the North American operations. This keeps her very busy and we don't get to see her as often, but gratefully she finished her flight school and obtained her pilot's license so she is able to fly her twin engine plane back to Marion a few times a year and visit.

Her sister, my youngest, still works at a local restaurant, despite winning the Power Ball lottery last year. She believes that the money she won is a gift from God for the benefit of others, so she set up a foundation to help single mothers in Illinois with their education and housing. Her willingness to continue to do menial work is a sure indication of the humility which has always been her hallmark.

My wife's oldest son's family has been very active this last year. Besides the usual activities of a growing family, they were able to start a school for Native American children in their home where they teach English as a second language. Her youngest son is still in Japan where he works as a translator for a cinematic company which produces Anime.

Finally, my wife's daughter and husband have adopted their 23rd child from war-torn countries. I don't know how they manage such a large family while both holding down full-time jobs, but somehow they do. The World Special Children Adoption Committee will be giving their life-time achievement award in New York this year, and we think they may get it. Here's hoping.

As for my wife, herself, she has remained busy running the Old Tyme Rock and Roll DJ Ministry. She spends her days traveling to nursing homes playing rock and roll from the 50's and 60's and encouraging the seniors to dance as both exercise and therapy.

I try to spend at least one day a week with her in her ministry, but I have been very busy finishing my latest book: "One is a Primary Number and Blue is a Primary Color". It is a memoir which details my slide into a debilitating depression and subsequent recovery over the last 12 years. Immediately after it's publication, it soared to number 11 on the New York Times Top 10 books list. I will start a nationwide book tour later this year (sometime after December, I think).

Well, that's all the news we have to tell you for this year. We are hoping for a better year next year, as I'm sure all of you are as well. Bye for now...

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