This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jefferson's Prescience

Jefferson's Prescience

Jefferson had some amazing thoughts that saw the potential of some of the problems circling our government right now. As our country recklessly careens towards a possible earthquake-type change in its reach into our lives, I will ponder these thoughts. I hope you might also.


The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.


It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.


I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.


My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.


To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Question: Wasn't Jesus' Death a Form of Murder?

People know my interest in Christian Apologetics and occasionally ask me questions. Here's a good one:

Why, if God is all powerful, and I think we both accept that premise, would God need humans to offer a blood sacrifice for their sin, ie the martyring of Christ? Can't God just see who is good and who chooses to be other than? Why would we have to shed blood when the commandments say thou shall not kill/murder? I honestly don't get the concept.

Here's my answer:

Great question! I'm noticing that within this question you're assuming that some humans are good enough to be with God, whereas other humans "choose to be other than." This idea is overwhelmingly common -- in fact, all religions aside from Christianity have a "works theology" in which if the person does certain things, and/or avoids certain things, he will (or could be) "good enough" to earn his way into heaven. By contrast, Christianity asserts in no uncertain terms that humans are "desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9) and will never be good enough to be with God, no matter how many prayers they say or how many good deeds they perform. Most of Jesus' confrontations with the Pharisees were about them thinking they were righteous by being born Jews and by following Moses' law (all 613 commandments in the Torah), while Jesus raised the stakes by saying you commit adultery if you just look at a woman lustfully, and you murder if you are just angry. Jesus' point was that no one could ever follow God's laws well enough to be as righteous as God. Jesus told the Pharisees they would never enter God's Kingdom until and unless they stopped relying on their own deeds and accepted God's assessment of sinfulness and his forgiveness. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). I can expand upon this point of man's depravity if needed.

Because humans are all sinful, there is a requirement of the shedding of blood to cover sin so that humans may be declared righteous, despite the fact that they will never be good enough by their own deeds to be able to be with God. You might look at it this way: suppose I break a lamp in your house. You can know that I didn't mean to do it, and that I'm basically careful with objects. You might further decide to forgive me and tell me not to worry about it. However, this doesn't change the fact that the lamp is broken. If you forgive me from having to replace it, then you yourself will have to pay the price of buying a new lamp, fixing the broken one, or living without light at night. Similarly, even though God loves us desperately, and even if he forgives us, there is a rift in the universe when we go against his will (sin) that must be paid for somehow. Either we pay for it, or God through the sacrifice of Jesus pays for it.

God set up the blood sacrificial system (both animals and Jesus) as a tangible system that works on a tangible earth for us to understand what goes on in a spiritual dimension. A great price of some sort is required to repair the rift between God and us because of our sin; sacrificing a life is a good tangible representation of the egregious size of this rift.

I'd also like to note the following: From how this question is worded, it sounds like this person is truly keeping an open mind and is willing to consider different viewpoints. This is important. For what it's worth, in my experience with skeptics there are almost always deep emotional difficulties that prevent the person's considering God. Often intellectual difficulties are thrown up as a smoke screen. When talking with the person, it's important to humbly listen and to understand their emotional catches. The goal is to bring the person to fairly consider God and Christianity, rather than to "win" the argument through strong intellectual arguments without care for the person.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This is one of my favorite carols. I first heard it as an adult, during a difficult period of my life, and it stuck with me. Hope.

The poem was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day, 1864, a few months before General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote many lyric poems including Paul Revere's Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was born in Maine, attended Bowdoin College (that of a favorite Civil War hero of mine, Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain), and in 1854 moved to Cambridge Massachusetts.

Longfellow and his wife, Fanny, had six children. In 1861 while Fanny was preserving locks of her children's hair, her dress caught fire and she died of burns the next day. Longfellow, while trying to save her, was also burned. He mourned her death until the day he died.

I liked this video of the carol, featuring the music of MercyMe. It juxtaposes despair and hope, our only hope, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas, dear readers.

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The fourth and fifth stanzas, referring specifically to the Civil War, are usually omitted.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(stanza usually omitted)

Then from each black accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(stanza usually omitted)

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Solitary Life

One Solitary Life
By James Allan Francis (1864-1928)

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty.

He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never went to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born.
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty three.
His friends ran away, and
One of them denied him.
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing,
The only property he had on earth.

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress.

All the armies that have ever marched,
All the navies that have ever sailed,
All the parliaments that have ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned, put together,
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, for Moms

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring; she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of TV,
With a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only Mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With the toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes, spilling them with a shrug,
"Oh, great," muttered Mom, "Now I must clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake,
your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but I want the time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "Now what good is that?
Run along, Santa, I've no time to chat."
Then out walked the clone - it was the mom's twin;
Same hair, same eyes, and same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young and Restless."
"Fantastic!" the Mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy? Come quickly, I'm scared and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the Mom smiled, "she sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one and hummed her a tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you, too."

The Mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That's my child's love that she's trying to steal."
Smiling wisely, Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving Mother is thus needed here."

The Mom kissed her child and tucked her in bed.
"Thank you, Santa, so much, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be too long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle and song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime nine.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side, Santa said, "Good night.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, you will now be all right."

~ Author Unknown ~

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas

I find this song irritating, but this acapella group does an amazing rendition! Even if you also find this song tedious, you won't for this performance.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blog Book Tour: Night of the Cossack

For those of you who don't know, the blog book tour is the 21st century version of the old-fashioned book tour. I'm pleased to feature Tom's book today, December 8, the official launch day for THE NIGHT OF THE COSSACK.

If you buy this book today, you will be eligible to receive free e-gifts. Visit Tom Blubaugh's author page on Facebook to learn more.

Today, December 8th ONLY!
Amazon book launch of Night of the Cossack
by Tom Blubaugh
Many FREE gifts and chances for giveaways
*You must purchase from Amazon either the Kindle version or a
'new' paperback from Bound by Faith Publishers to qualify.
The new paperback version will be a signed copy by the author and shipped FREE to an address in the USA.
TODAY, Dec. 8th, 2011 ONLY.

OK, here's some book info:

BOOK SUMMARY: NIGHT OF THE COSSACK is a compelling adventure about a teenager who is forced to grow up quickly. The main character, Nathan Hertzfield, faces many life or death situations during his saga. Join Nathan on his suspenseful journey through parts of Russia and Europe during the early 1900's. Don't miss this entertaining and intriguing story, Night of the Cossack.

AUTHOR BIO: Tom Blubaugh is a freelance writer living in Southwest Missouri with Barbara, his wife. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Tom has written non-fiction most of his adult life, but has recently written a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack, published by Bound by Faith Publishers. This is Tom’s first novel. He co-wrote a devotional journal in 2009 for Barbour Publishing titled The Great Adventure. His other writings include articles for a denominational magazine and an insurance publication. He also self-published a book, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry in 1974.

Tom started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His vision of turning them into lyrics for rock and roll songs for popular artists didn’t develop. He considers writing to be a God-given talent and feels led to develop it. His first novel was published at his age of 69. Tom says it’s never too late. He is now writing a sequel.

Tom spent twelve years as an insurance agent and eleven years as a financial planner. He is the past president of Jericho Commission, Inc., and still serves on the board of directors.


5.0 out of 5 stars night of the cossack, November 28, 2011
By jeaniet - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
Loved this book I want another one from this author it has a little of everything, romance, mystery, wondering what is going to happen next. Enjoyed it very much!

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story!, November 22, 2011
By Lisa Tortorello "Author" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
Follow Nathan Hertzfield as he journeys physically, emotionally, and spiritually along the road of life. While historical fiction is not my first choice when reading a book, I found myself captivated by Nathan's struggles and the decisions he was forced to make. From the moment he was kidnapped, Nathan's life changed forever. You will find yourself cheering for him until the very last page. In Night of the Cossack Tom Blubaugh does a fine job weaving history and fiction into a gripping story. I was so intrigued I even looked on a map to follow Nathan on his journey!

5.0 out of 5 stars a must read!!, November 17, 2011
mustlovetoread - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Night of the Cossack by Tom Blubaugh is a must read. This is a story about a Jewish boy whose father dies, then he is kidnapped by the Cossacks, and subsequently drafted into the Russian Army. You get drawn into the story from the start.

Do you regret not knowing an ancestor who is gone now, and there is no one left to answer questions? Do you wish you knew their story? This is a historical fictional account of what might have happened to Blubaugh's grandfather. He knew his grandfather had been a Russian Cossack soldier and had immigrated to America in 1910. Blubaugh puts those pieces together--with the historical facts of the Cossacks--and weaves a believable fictional account of his grandfather's life.

Night of the Cossack starts with Nathan waking up to the Cossacks attacking his village. He is kidnapped by Nikolai, a Cossack soldier. He takes him in as his son and teaches him the way of the Cossack. I enjoyed learning about the Cossack way of life. The story follows the adventures, betrayals, and challenges of Nathan and how he adapts to his surroundings to survive and make it to America. You will be amazed at Nathan's story--from changing his name a few times to escape capture to traveling the secret route set up to convey Jews to Bucharest. Nathan eventually gets a job on a ship and sails for America.

If you love adventure, historical fiction, and suspense, I highly recommend this book, Night of the Cossack.

5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs your attention, November 10, 2011
New Tribes Mission - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
I had a hard time putting down this book by Tom Blubaugh. This is a book about a young Jewish boy (Nathan) whose village was raided by Russian Cossacks. After being kiddnapped by this Cossak group, Nathan goes through much adventure, trial, sacrifice, and even love for his "Father-figure", a Cossak that taught and cared for him.
This story caused me to do research on the Cossaks, as this is a part of history that I didn't know much about.
This book was very enjoyable to read and I would recommend it to anyone pre-teen to adult. It would also be a good book to read together as a family.

5.0 out of 5 stars A good fall evening read., November 4, 2011
prleg8s - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
Night of the Cossack. What a joy to see someone put into words the family history that so many of us have, but really never completely understand.

Using imagination, history and personal information an interesting and vivid description of what life was like for Tom's grandfather, he entertains and educates us on what that life must have been like as a Cossack.

Night of the Cossack is an easy read, with clear concise descriptions and an interesting story line. I was captivated by the feelings of a young man suddenly forced into a different life than he ever imagined. His strength and determination to hold true to his roots made this story believeable and loveable.

The ending of this book was particularly appealing and surprising. A wonderful story of the seed of a new life in America with the prospects of a new faith. Many of our ancestors began a new life in a new country in varied ways. This is a unique perspective of one of those stories.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Lost Photos

These photos are from Will. Incredible.



These Pearl Harbor photos were found in an old Brownie stored in a foot locker, and were just recently developed. They were taken by a sailor who was on the USS Quapaw ATF-110.

Seventy years ago, on Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander, Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port, but as luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not there. The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island, where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States.

In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft.. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu , he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack. Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets.

At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 'Val' dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor. Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack.

When it was over, the U.S. Losses were:

US Army: 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
US Navy: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
US MarineCorp: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.

TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.

USS Arizona (BB-39) - total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) - Total loss when she capsized and sunk in the harbor.
USS California (BB-4 4) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada - (BB-36) Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) - Light damage.
USS Maryland (BB-46) - Light damage.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) Light damage.
USS Utah (AG-16) - (former battleship used as a target) - Sunk.
USS New Orleans (CA-32) - Light Damage..
USS San Francisco (CA-38) - Light Damage.
USS Detroit (CL-8) - Light Damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) - Heavily damaged but repaired.
USS Helena (CL-50) - Light Damage.
USS Honolulu (CL-48) - Light Damage..
USS Downes (DD-375) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Cassin - (DD -3 7 2) Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Shaw (DD-373) - Very heavy damage.
USS Helm (DD-388) - Light Damage.
USS Ogala (CM-4) - Sunk but later raised and repaired..
Seaplane Tender
USS Curtiss (AV-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
Repair Ship
USS Vestal (AR-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
Harbor Tug
USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.
188 Aircraft destroyed (92 USN and 92 U.S. Army Air Corps.)


December 7th, 1941

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yogi Berra's Commencement Speech

"Thank you all for being here tonight. I know this is a busy time of year, and if you weren't here, you could probably be somewhere else. I especially want to thank the administration at St. Louis University for making this day necessary. It is an honor to receive this honorary degree.

It is wonderful to be here in St. Louis and to visit the old neighborhood. I haven't been back since the last time I was here. Everything looks the same, only different. Of course, things in the past are never as they used to be.

Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. As you may know, I never went to college, or high school for that matter. To be honest, I'm not much of a public speaker, so I will try to keep this short as long as I can.

As I look out upon all of the young people here tonight, there are a number of words of wisdom I might depart. But I think the most irrelevant piece of advice I can pass along is this: "The most important things in life are the things that are least important.

I could have gone a number of directions in my life. Growing up on the Hill, I could have opened a restaurant or a bakery. But the more time I spent in places like that, the less time I wanted to spend there. I knew that if I wanted to play baseball, I was going to have to play baseball. My childhood friend, Joe Garagiola, also became a big-league ballpayer, as did my son, Dale. I think you'll find the similarities in our careers are quite different.

You're probably wondering, how does a kid from the Hill become a New York Yankee and get in the Hall of Fame? Well, let me tell you something, if it was easy nobody would do it. Nothing is impossible until you make it possible.

Of course, times were different. To be honest, I was born at an early age. Things are much more confiscated now. It seems like a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. But let me tell you, if the world was perfect, it wouldn't be. Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

You'll make some wrong mistakes along the way, but only the wrong survive. Never put off until tomorrow what you can't do today. Denial isn't just a river in Europe.

Strive for success and remember you won't get what you want unless you want what you get. Some will choose a different path. If they don't want to come along, you can't stop them. Remember, none are so kind as those who will not see.

Keep the faith and follow the Commandments: Do not covet thy neighbor's wife, unless she has nothing else to wear. Treat others before you treat yourself. As Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'The onl y thing you have to fear is beer itself.'

Hold on to your integrity, ladies and gentlemen. It's the one thing you really need to have; if you don't have it, that's why you need it. Work hard to reach your goals, and if you can't reach them, use a ladder. There may come a day when you get hurt and have to miss work. Don't worry, it won't hurt to miss work.

Over the years, I have realized that baseball is really just a menopause for life. We all have limitations, but we also know limitation is the greatest form of flattery. Beauty is in the eyes of Jim Holder.

Half the lies you hear won't be true, and half the things you say, you won't ever say.

As parents you'll want to give your children all the things you didn't have. But don't buy them an encyclopedia, make them walk to school like you did. Teach them to have respect for others, especially the police. They are not here to create disorder, they are here to preserve it.

Throughout my career, I found good things always came in pairs of three. There will be times when you are an overwhelming underdog. Give 100 percent to everything you do, and when that's not enough, give everything you have left. 'Winning isn't everything, but it's better than rheumatism.' I think Guy Lombardo said that.

Finally, dear graduates and friends, cherish this moment; it is a memory you will never forget. You have your entire future ahead of you.

"Good luck and Bob's speed."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The High School Dance

Our 15 year old boy attended a dance a few weekends ago. Growing up is so tough!

He's been dating a girl for the past 6 months or so, although doesn't want to acknowledge anything. They go ice skating and visit each others' houses, but he insists (at least to me, his mom) that they're "just friends." The girl's mom and I get together sometimes for coffee, not because of our kids but simply because we like to chat together.

A few weeks ago the mom mentioned (not hinting, just telling me) that her daughter was "really hoping" that our boy would ask her girl to the dance. Next I heard that our boy was taking a different girl. My husband told me that apparently the first girl had gotten tired of waiting for our boy to ask her and accepted another invitation. I emailed the girl's mom to say hi, and between her and my husband, the "real" story came out.

The first girl, a week before, went with another boy from her church to the boy's dance at a nearby school. The boy, the mom assured me, was just a friend.

I strongly suspect our son interpreted the girl's going to the other dance to mean that she likes this other boy.

The second girl, whom our boy took to the dance, apparently asked him if he'd take her. Knowing his psychology, he probably said yes because he didn't know how to get out of it. He mentioned later that he didn't really want to go, although he did seem to have had a good time when I picked them up.

The first girl stayed at home that evening, studying chemistry. (I think the mom is right that the second boy didn't mean anything to her, since if he did she would have asked him to her dance). Does this sound like a soap opera?

The girl's mom was very nice about everything -- she said these things happen, and would I like to get together with her next week?

I have no idea how things will work out for our kids, or if they will, but really it's just a small incident in the process of growing up. My husband and I will continue to gently advise and guide our young man, interpreting for him why events may mean different things than what he thinks. I wish someone had noticed and cared a little to help me at this age -- it would have saved a lot of heartbreak. But be that as it may, these are typical hurts for this age. We can't be unequivocal in telling our son what to do like we did in the past, only suggest ideas and love him.

I had terrible dreams that night. That dance brought back again the bad memories for me of this part of my life and a little later. I did significantly hurtful things to several boys, and was significantly hurt as well. At the time I didn't realize how odd my actions might have seemed, even though I realize now that some were unconsciously self-protective. Others were naive, and a few just selfish.

One boy who I dumped I loved, and I believe he loved me, although at the time I didn't appreciate how rare and fragile a thing love is. It took a very long time for me to find someone else: my husband, with whom we have two children. He is very different from the first boy, but we are happy.

Some might think it strange that I still occasionally remember to regret what I did so many years ago to that boy. I wouldn't change my life, because I love my husband and children and would never trade the present for the past. It's just that, even now, I wish I could directly apologize to the boy simply because I treated him cruelly at the end (although I didn’t appreciate this). I'm sure he hated me. But then I think, he probably doesn't hold onto these things now. Water under the bridge, and all that. My nightmares after the dance are about ancient history.

But that history still lives within me. My dreams occasionally remind me. Years ago, when I became a Christian, I wrestled to really, truly, forgive those who had hurt me, but I wonder if I ever forgave myself. I reflect on this in the middle of the night. Over the years I've thought of that other boy every now and then. Maybe we'll see each other again in another life.

Would directly apologizing to him help? I don't know. Is it worth it to even try?

Gee, I just wish I could say I'm sorry, without its being a big deal. I send him (and his family and dear ones) the best wishes I have.