What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Letter #138... Dear Mr. President... Cherish the 'Gift of Time'.

 Dear Mr. President,

Last June for Fathers Day I wrote to you about the ‘gift of time’… time spent with loved ones, our children, our parents and our friends.

That was Letter #46 and I talked about losing my father when he was just 50 and I was 20, and how sad it was that my brother Charlie was just 13 years old at the time… and now, sadly Charlie has passed away too.

The talk about Obama care vs Romney care, vs single payer, vs what ever the current crop of candidates are spewing across the country… the bottom line is we all need health care… we need it from the minute we’re born to the day we die, there is no escape… kind of like taxes.

Jeff celebrates his 47th Birthday with family.
I mention all this because my son Jeff, who just turned 47, has come to live with my husband Gary and me. It wasn’t by choice, but by circumstance… the circumstance being that he was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic/liver cancer. He was living in Hawaii, but was unable to care for himself any longer… it was time to come back to California where most of his extended family live, and where hopefully, the time he has left is spent without the stress of trying to cook for himself, or do the laundry, or worry about who is available to take him to the doctor. And isn’t that what a family is supposed to do, if possible?

I can’t begin to tell you how sad it is to see my son so sick and in so much pain… pain that as a mother I would gladly suffer for him. Of course that is not possible, all we can do is try to help make him comfortable, and give him the gift of our time. Time to reminisce about childhood friends, and birthday parties, Christmases, school and sports events that we all shared and enjoyed. Time to remember the little things in life that don’t seem like much at the time, but are the threads that weave us together forever, as a family.

For Jeff it is a time to reflect on his own life, time to realize that even a life that in his eyes hasn’t amounted too much… in our eyes it was priceless. A life is not measured by what one has achieved, or accumulated, but how they’ve treated other people along the way. Jeff’s heart and his actions have always supported and uplifted others that were less fortunate or down and out. Jeff always gave his ‘gift of time’ to people that others had already written off as lost causes. If a price could be set for charisma and be patented and bottled, Jeff would have been a millionaire.

Life is short Mr. President… as busy as you are, I know you are spending it wisely, and I know that the time spent with Malia and Sasha is the most precious time you’ll ever have… for you and for them. Treasure every moment… they end too soon.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

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