Dorene Walth, my pastor’s wife, lived around the corner from us and we were close friends.  She knew of the events leading up to meeting my father and she encouraged me to write a journal.  She said that the first year with my father would be very important and I should write about it.  I had never written a journal before and I have not written one since.  In November of 1985, after meeting my father a few months earlier, I asked him what I could give him as a birthday gift next year.  He said, “I just want you.”

So I decided to purchase one of those hard bound books with blank ruled pages and write a book of letters to him.  On December 3, 1985, after writing the title and dedication pages (shown as pages 99-101 in the book) I headed the next two blank pages “Table of Contents” and then wrote the first letter as shown on page 103).  I numbered the pages as I wrote them and then would go back to the Table of Contents and put the title of the letter and its page number.  The words just seemed to flow and I know the Holy Spirit was directing me.  Especially because the last chapter called “God Is Love” written on October 5, 1986, completed the last blank page of the journal.  It amazed me that all the pages were filled.

I don’t know what became of the original journal.  However, before I gave it to my father I made a photocopy of the pages.  I showed it to Dorene and she said, “Maria, you should get this published.  There are so many that could be helped by reading this.”   “Oh, no, no, no.  It’s way too personal.  I could never do that.”

“Maybe someday in the future after your mother and father are gone, you will feel comfortable about publishing it.”

That was over 25 years ago and I am so glad that she is alive today to see how right her wise words to me were so long ago.