Father's Day 2003 has now come and gone. It is always a bittersweet time for me. Why? Because, on the one hand, I am blessed with one wife, five children, and eight grandchildren, so I get lots of phone calls from those out of town and lots of presents from those who live with and near me.

On the other hand, over the past five years, I lost my father, followed by my baby brother (at age 47) and then 18 months ago, my mother. With all uncles, aunts, and grandparents also gone, it left my other brother (who is four year younger) and me as the survivors of the family. Or, at the risk of being morbid, to put it another way, there is now no one in front of me. We have all moved up a rung on the ladder.

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