Dear Dad,

Happy Birthday! It's hard to image that by the time you were my age you had already retired, Papa too if I'm correct. And I had already finished college and moved to New York. Seems as if I'm just beginning my life. I'm looking forward to seeing you and everyone in Cleveland in just a week or so. Also looking forward to escaping New York City. Glancing back to your last birthday, I've lived through a nightmare of a year. I just sent Megan an e-mail stating that I'm on the road to feeling good though dodging bullets. This has been the status quo all year. I could do without all these distractions. I often thank the lord for leading me away from Sotheby's. My life since is headed in the right direction. Some good jobs came my way this year, for which I am thankful, and having the time to work on my artwork is invaluable.

I've enjoyed going back to church. Last week the pastor's message was about moving on. There are people that I wish would move on from me. It's important to stay focused on the present; everyday is the most important day of our life. The lord is all good and always provides. He shows the way and we must follow. I've made many a mistake, even when the lord had given me clues to the correct path. I've paid dearly, life isn't easy. I've truly been misunderstood, and often had a hard time. Perhaps it is part of seeking the truth, even if it means living against convention. To be true to one's heart and stay alert to the signs will lead to the light, whether on earth or in heaven. I think the two maybe closer to one another than we imagine. Perhaps it's to do our best to make our lives on earth as close as possible to life in the ever after. Time is not wasted and is eternal when one is close to the lord.

Love, tom