March – April 1996 Notebook

My son was born November 8, 1996; therefore, beginning a new way of life outside the days of partying. This was the year that I stopped hanging out with the drug addicts and began thinking for myself. This was, as Dr. Phil says, my “defining moment.” Besides my new found love of life, my father journaled his defining moment in a notebook titled, “March – April 1996” in the form of a letter to his brother Rusty.

Dear Rusty and Sandy and Family,

I drove home from another 10 days in the hospital, should have called but not feeling good. We had more snow 2-3 inches and more on the way (he lived in Iowa and Rusty in California). I tried to quit smoking but haven’t completely stopped yet. Sandi, have you quit yet? I’m sorry I tried to eleviate some of the suffering by writing that smoking is permitted in Heaven! I know how really difficult it is. I’ve cut down but still have one now and then. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Anyway, I started with a group in Oelwein to work on our goals etc. but really haven’t got my heart in it(quit after4 sessions). Hope to see you guys soon, are you coming for Rusty’s reunion? The snow should be gone by then, haha.

Defining moments are the times that make you or break you. They are the moments in time where you see yourself a little differently. For my father, it was a matter of not smoking anymore. He tried and tried to quit for years but couldn’t seem to fully commit and even jokingly says, “it’s permitted in heaven” just to make himself feel better.

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