Life’s Greatest Surprises.

    When I reflect back on my life, I would say I have had several unique and wonderful surprises. Looking back even the opportunity to grow up with lots of animals on a small farm was a great surprise. Getting to experience the miracle of life and even death was an experience that has helped form me into the person I am today.
    Some of the surprises in my life have come because of my families lack of even simple pleasures such as a television. When I was ten and my brother was eleven my mom answered an add in the newspaper. The add was requesting children that did not watch television on a regular basis to come to the University of Utah, so people could do some experiments hooking up electrodes on our head to measure how certain short movie clips effected our emotions. I remember watching four short clips, one was a movie about boxing and another one was of cars racing. I forget what the other movies were about. At the end of the experiment my brother and myself were given $10 dollars. We thought we were so rich. I think my mom talked us into getting some clothes with part of the money and the rest we could spend on what we wanted. I just remember how excited we were to get so much money.
    On another occasion our family was the recipients of sub for Santa from our church. Back in the late 70s the big craze were these 15 in one game boards and we got two of them. In my mind I was thinking why couldn’t we get something cool like a television or even a new Monopoly game. I was not being very thankful.
    When our kids were little, it was Christmas Eve when we got a knock on the door and we were surprised with a visit from Santa. A kind neighbor Glen Nelson dressed up like Santa and gave our kids a memory they would never forget. We were all excited that night for the kindness of wonderful neighbors.
    Two more surprises I am saving for last. When Cassie and myself had only been married for 15 months we became the foster parents of two children. Rick was 5 and Stephanie was 4. We went from being Aunt Cassie and Uncle Leonard to mom and dad on a Friday; that coming Monday was the first day of school for Rick.
    Rick and Stephanie have been wonderful additions. Five years after becoming their foster parents we were able to adopt them into our family. The three younger children would have been devastated if their older siblings had to go to a different home. They always looked up to them and loved doing all the family activities together. Our family would be empty without them.
    Finally, on the day I was driving with my parents to get married we looked over and we saw Cassie driving with her parents on the freeway to get married. For me this was a huge relief and a wonderful sign that Cassie really did love me and wanted to marry me. Of all the many delightful surprises I am glad Cassie gets to experience many of them with me.

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