A prior post expressed my gratitude for teachers, professors and professional colleagues who have helped me. But that hardly exhausts my reasons for gratitude.
I was blessed for having met and married Mary Alyce. An intelligent, attractive woman, she gave birth to our two sons, Alan and Brian, and bore the major responsibility for raising them to adulthood. All of us have been healthy without major accidents, another blessing. There have been problems along the way, of course, but we have managed to confront and surmount them. I am grateful.
For 24 years, 1957 through early 1981, I had no religious or spiritual life. I clearly suffered from the sin of pride. Yet I give thanks for those years. They gave me a strong sense of what it is like to be without a spiritual grounding as well as an understanding and appreciation for intellect, logic and reason. I am grateful.
In May 1981 I had a major turning when I could admit to myself and others that I did not have all the answers to life and when I joined Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. I am now in my 31st year of active membership at this church, and it has been and continues to be a major blessing in my life. I lament the way that Christianity is often presented to the rest of the world today, especially in my home state of Iowa over their recent Republican caucuses. I, therefore, strive to present in my own way an intelligent person’s understanding of the faith. I am grateful.
I now have four grandchildren. They are wonderful, intelligent, curious, polite and healthy human beings. I am now concerned to do what I can to help them go to college and achieve all that they can be. I am grateful.
My practice of law provided an excellent income, and my wife and I were able to save for our retirement, making it possible for me to retire at age 62. As I read the many stories in the press about so many people today unexpectedly not being able to retire for financial reasons, I know that I am privileged. I am grateful.
I am also glad that I decided to retire from lawyering early at age 62 in order to have time, energy and good health to do things I wanted to do. Similarly I am glad I retired at the end of 2010 from my part-time job of law school teaching and from volunteering as an arbitrator for the Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority in order to create time for writing and doing things I wanted to do. I am grateful.
For all these blessings, I give thanks to God and to those named and unnamed individuals who helped me along the way.