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Jiffy Rental Center in Riverton, Wyoming

Today is special. It's my youngest son's birthday. Happy birthday, AJ.  I truly regret that we have missed the last eight years together.

"How did this happen?" some people ask me.

 It doesn't matter. Mistakes were made, mostly mine.

Today, I celebrate being there for the first seventeen years of my son's life. He is unique and wonderfully gifted.  There were hints of his qualities early on... like the time two older boys were harrassing his older brother in the park. They didn't see Jay at the top of the fence, nor did they know what hit them when he jumped right in the middle of them.  He had passion and purpose and the willingness to take a risk for his brother.  He found his courage in circumstances early on.  That's my boy.

Still, the best part of waking up today is having another chance to see my son again.  I often imagine how wonderful that will be. 

Our family division began years ago and now keeps us apart, not talking, but only wishing we were. Such things are inconceivable in most families.  It takes religion or a holy war for something this bizarre and senseless to occur, or so you'd think.   Yet we endure this trial for little reason more than hurt remains, pain endures, and the future belongs to those who refuse to allow anything to keep them apart.

Yet it happens to people in all walks of life.  The story of Tatum and Ryan O'Neil captures my attention lately as I learn how a young daughter didn't talk to her dad for 25 years.  
"I don't have that kind of time," I think. 
But then I am buoyed with hope knowing one thing remains... love.  Wherever the candle of love burns, even slightly, there is reason for hope.  Love can reunite loved ones in this life and most assuredly can do so in the next.

On this special day, I want my son to know that his dog Harri is alive and well and living the good life in Heaven.  As it happens, Monsignor was wrong, AJ.  Dogs do go to Heaven.  They just take a different route.  They love unconditionally and are God's example for mankind.  In turn, they scoot right past the Pearly Gates and St. Peter simply because we wish them there.    Heaven is a place of promise filled with love beyond our imaginations, where all good things you wish for come true.  Including seeing and loving our pets again.

Harri can't wait to see you, AJ. That goes double for me.

Happy Birthday
Love you, Dad.


Jiffy Rental Center Riverton