Thursday, March 22, 2007

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Todd and Janelle went to neighboring high schools in northern California, in rural towns where teens cruised the roads in big-wheeled, jacked-up trucks. All except for Todd, who drove a silver Porsche. Janelle met Todd one night at McDonalds, and "it was love at first sight—with a side of fries," she says. On a date to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, "we were stopped by a stranger who issued us a kissing violation. He thanked us for spreading infectious happiness," Janelle recalls.

But Todd had enlisted in the Army and his final assignment was Korea. Heartbroken yet determined to keep the love alive, Janelle drove him to the airport in 1986. She wrote him every day, but word reached Todd that she was dating others. The gossip had been false, but instead of sorting it out, Todd withdrew. "I was devastated, but I went on," Janelle recalls.

She eventually got engaged to someone else, although she was still pining for Todd. The night before her wedding, she poured through the photos in her "Todd box," praying he'd swoop down and whisk her away. Fast forward to 1997.

Janelle's marriage was unraveling and, seeking comfort, she returned home to visit her folks. She had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that something terrible had happened to Todd, and so she went through her well-loved photos and memories one more time. Later that week, still thinking of him, she searched for Todd on the Internet. She found him in Los Angeles.

"Somehow, I managed to leave a message. Two days later, when I heard his voice for the first time, my heart melted. It felt like a dream." She told him about her foreboding, and, after a silence, Todd explained that on that day he had taken his box of Janelle memories out of his closet and thrown it away. He had spent the prior week looking for her on the Internet but could not find her and had given up.

"We talked on the phone for days," Janelle reports, "and it felt as if we were never apart." But in the real world, sorting things out would take time. They needed to talk about the past to determine what had gone wrong. And there was the issue of Janelle's marriage. "I was so afraid that, if I told him, I would lose him again," Janelle says, but finally that, too, came out.

Then, one night on the phone, Janelle blurted out a confession: "I've been in love with you my whole life," she said. "I've been in love with you, too," answered Todd. He hopped on a plane the very next morning and Janelle picked him up at the airport, the same one she'd taken him to en route to Korea eleven years before. They went straight to Fisherman's Wharf. From that day forward, they were together. Today Todd and Janelle Graves and their two small children live in Seattle. "I love telling this story," Janelle says. "Every time I tell it, I cry."




Lost-and-Found Love
If Todd and Janelle had left their hearts in San Francisco, only to find them in the same exact spot, they aren't alone. Romantic reunions with past partners are more common than ever due to the ease of finding people online. Before the Internet, locating a lost love required a library of phone books, a private detective or plenty of luck. The hunt was an act explicitly rife with feeling, a kind of public declaration.

Today, old lovers can type a name into Google. The act seems to be casual, whether it actually is or not. It's so easy to reconnect that many people look up old flames without appreciating what's at stake. Most of these romantic reunions, says California State University at Sacramento psychologist Nancy Kalish, are between first or early loves—those relationships that took place between one's teens and early 20s.

According to Kalish, the country's foremost expert in rekindled romance, lost-and-found romances are surprisingly successful, as long as both partners are not otherwise attached at the time they reconnect. In Kalish's initial sample of 1,000 lost-and-found lovers, ages 18 to 95, nearly three-quarters remained together after a decade of study. When these past lovers married each other, their divorce rate after four years tallied in at no more than 1.5 percent. Usually, second marriages are relatively fragile: In the public at large, nearly one-quarter of all couples who remarry get divorced again within five years.

How to explain the endurance of rekindled first love? "Many of the couples grew up together or shared friends and values," says Kalish. Whether they were from the same hometown or met in college, "they spent formative years together and became each other's standard for all romances since."

Yet for all the power and resilience of rekindled romance, Kalish has discovered a dark side. More of the encounters are now unpremeditated, and many of these people are swept away by feelings they didn't know they still had, placing marriages—even good marriages—at risk. In her latest sample, more than 60 percent of lost-love reunions involve affairs.




The Lost-Love Project
Nancy Kalish was teaching adolescent psychology at the University of California in San Francisco in 1993 when she began wondering about her college boyfriend. She got his phone number by writing to their alumni association, and that first contact reawakened their romance. She took a sabbatical and moved to New York to be with him; they got engaged. Yet problems emerged. Kalish found herself shocked and hurt the day he drove away, never to be heard from again.

At the time, Kalish assumed—mistakenly as it turns out—that most rekindled loves, like her own, were saddled with past problems and doomed to fail. Curious about the phenomenon, she decided to conduct a scholarly post mortem of her own relationship. She designed a questionnaire and began seeking a population to fill in the blanks.

Lost-and-found love affairs were common, she learned, and uncommonly successful. Most of the people Kalish met during her earliest research had been separated by circumstance: long distances and family moves, stints in the military, disapproving parents, the uncertainty of youth. The lost lovers felt their separation had been unjust, and now they finally had the chance to set things right.

"Those forced apart by parents harbored great anger," she says. "Some had put off marriage and even lost their chance to have children as a result." The reunions were often supremely vindicating. "He kept kissing my face at the airport, and after 20 years he was saying, 'You're beautiful, you look fabulous,' " one woman in Kalish's study recounted.

Such love may sound fantastical, sure to vaporize in the light of day, but Kalish says that nothing could be further from the truth. "These are love relationships that never ended, not fantasies."

Her most compelling finding was the cataclysmic power of rekindled love. While most ordinary affairs don't break up marriages, reunions with first or early loves are much more risky. Some of the people she met during her research had been willing to forfeit everything—custody of their children, friendships, businesses and life savings—just to be together.

Even religious Christians were caught in the staggering gravity of lost-and-found love. One study participant, a clergyman from Canada, had spent decades ministering to the pain of others, yet said the hurt he was about to inflict on his wife and three children could not be helped. "This love that I have for my high-school sweetheart can no longer be denied," he said.




The Romeo and Juliet Effect
These relationships may be so indelible, so off-the-charts intense, because they're forged in the hormonal fire of the teenage brain. True, teen romances often fizzle, and high-school sweethearts often don't stay together after the prom. "But when the lovers get older," says Kalish, "they can mine the depths of that early bond."

Those reunited with a first or early love after years are "simultaneously bombarded with the giddy, explosive, highly sexual but ephemeral chemicals of new love coupled with the profoundly satisfying, deeply relaxing chemicals of long-term love," says Kalish. "They are able to tap all that again only with the lost lover, with whom the bond was formed."

That makes sense to University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine psychiatrist Thomas Lewis, author of A General Theory of Love. "The adolescent brain is exposed to heightened levels of testosterone and progesterone, the steroid sex hormones involved in sexual intensity," he says. "There's also an increase in oxytocin, the same hormone that aids mother-and-child bonding following birth." Chemistry thus sets the stage for once-in-a-lifetime sexual intensity paired with a unique opportunity for attachment—creating a model of love that persists for life.

The idea finds support in a study conducted at the University of California at Berkeley, where Jennifer Beer, then a graduate student, analyzed the first-love stories of 303 Berkeley students. Contrary to the beliefs of many psychologists, "some of the problems you have in the romantic domain may have more to do with your first love than with your parents," says Beer, who found that participants' memories of the experience ranged from "fond" to "soul crushing." Those who remembered the experience positively were more likely to perceive their subsequent romantic attachments as secure, found Beer, now a professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis.

Another reason these relationships seem so palpable and alive for so long may be due in part to what psychologists call the "autobiographical memory bump": the unique clarity of memories forged in adolescence and the early 20s. When Duke University psychologist David Rubin tested adults for recall on topics from top news stories to important events in their own lives, he found that the richest, most vivid trove of memories were those that had formed between the ages of 10 and 30.

Dan McAdams, a narrative psychologist from Northwestern University in Illinois, has found that it is during these years that most individuals also form their core identity and sense of self—their personal mythology. The teens and 20s give birth to our personal narratives and our lifelong ideals.

A middle-aged desire to fulfill adolescent ideals and longings could be fed by the desire to find a satisfying ending to this story. It could also be a nostalgia for the glory days, or a special connection with our idealized selves, that makes a rekindled romance so tantalizing the second time around.

These explanations resonate with the ideas of Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, an expert in the evolutionary biology of human sexuality and romantic love. To explain why separation and other adversities can make the heart grow fonder, she has coined the term "frustration attraction," the idea that threats to the relationship can actually increase feelings of longing and ardor. Passionate love stimulates dopamine-producing neurons, which generate the motivation to seek out the beloved. But if the lover is absent, those brain cells prolong their activities, Fisher hypothesizes in her book Why We Love. "As the adored one slips away, the very chemicals that contribute to feelings of romance grow even more potent, intensifying ardent passion and impelling us to try with all our strength to secure our reward, the departing loved one," she writes.




The Dark Side of Rekindled Love
In the beginning, Kalish had a joyous story to tell. Her study participants were largely single, divorced or widowed, and reuniting was cause for celebration. But today, with more people reconnecting online, the story has changed. Many who idly Google a former lover's name find themselves unexpectedly gripped by the first-love phenomenon—with unwelcome consequences.

"V," from Florida, has been in a holding pattern for more than six years since she reconnected with her former high-school sweetheart, a married man.

"The second I laid eyes on him, I was in love," V recalls. Though she was shy, she invited him to the school's Sadie Hawkins dance. But she was just 16, and the feelings were too intense. "I wanted to tell him that I wasn't ready for where our relationship was headed, but I had no idea how to start a conversation like that. Instead, I broke it off."

He left the state to go to college, and both eventually married other people. "But I never stopped thinking of him or wondering where he was or how he was," she says now.

After her divorce, it didn't take long for her to post her contact information on Classmates.com and garner that predictable e-mail from her lost love. "The second I saw his message, my whole body went cold and then hot," says V.

His marriage was a happy one, but his relationship with V still took off. "We've grown closer over the years," V says. "The death of his son was a turning point for us. He opened up to me about his feelings and his sadness and we became really good friends. His wife is wildly unhappy about it, but he won't cut it off. Last year she went out of the country on a trip, and we came very close to seeing each other. But at the last minute, he backed out. 'I'm not that kind of person,' he said."

She thinks of her lost lover constantly, although the e-mails have stopped because his wife might find them. "I wait for his phone call, which comes about once a month," she says. "This is killing me because I know we'd be perfect together. At least I know he's hooked, too."

Collateral Damage
Lost-love reunions may linger in limbo—or they may destroy marriages. "The true victims are the spouses who never saw it coming," Kalish says. Indeed, of the more than 1,600 lost-love reunions she studied during 2004 and 2005, some 62 percent involved extramarital affairs (as opposed to 30 percent in the years before).

Most spouses don't realize the risk when a partner announces that first e-mail from an old high-school friend, says Kalish, but if the friend is of the opposite sex, alarm bells should go off. Likewise, she says, "if you're married, think long and hard before contacting that first love. Your life may be forever changed."

Benjamin L. Stone should know. Almost ready to retire, the Florida attorney was enjoying life with his wife of 27 years, "a very smart, very attractive woman." A good friend had died of cancer, and out in California for the funeral, Stone's wife met her old flame, someone she'd dated from the time that she was 14 until the age of 17. After the service, hanging out in Malibu—"think of the tides, think sunset," says Stone—it took them all of five minutes to reenter the "zone" and get reinvolved. "When she came back two days later, nothing was the same." She announced that she wanted an apartment of her own.

Stone eventually found them together—in bed. Deeply in love with his wife, he told her to say good-bye to her lover and come home. "I thought we could fix this," he says. But he was wrong. "The counselors we consulted said our marriage was excellent. We had been loyal, we were best friends, our sex was great," but neither they nor Stone had factored in the power of lost-and-found love. "It's as if she was hypnotized," says Stone. "They communicated constantly by e-mail, text message. She's a very intelligent woman, but when it comes to him, it's as if she's in a trance."

They are now divorced. His wife's lover remains married and has kept the affair a secret from his own wife. Emotionally hooked to her lover, Stone's wife now takes his calls and responds to all his e-mails in the privacy of her own apartment, without interference—but at the periphery of his marriage and life.

Many say they want closure, but closure is a myth, says Kalish. "The old feelings come back. Married people who want to keep their marriages should understand this before they search for a lost love and get in over their heads. Once these relationships take off, they aren't fantasies, nostalgia or midlife crises. They are loves that were interrupted, and the urge to give them another chance is very strong."




Back to the Future
For those free to pursue a lost-and-found love without hurting others, however, the rewards can be intense. TV host Donna Hanover, former wife of New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, was recovering from a bitter public divorce when she heard from Ed Oster, her high-school sweetheart and college love. Oster had dumped her during her freshman year of college, but had come to regret his choice.

Their first day together after the passage of years was magical. "He was a little older but no less handsome or thrilling," Hanover wrote in her memoir. "In fact he still looked young to me—an improved version of his former wonderful self, complete with new wisdom and compassion."

The two seized the opportunity, and like so many others, were transported by their rediscovered love. "I was seeing him through young eyes, and I liked how that made me feel. As quickly as you could say 'Hey la, hey la, my boyfriend's back,' we decided to take full advantage of a second chance together—a veritable miracle in both of our lives."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hi Tom,

I've been pulled into Facebook by several of my friends and couldn't resist checking to see if you are also a victim. I remember that you were always very much into the computers, so I wasn't all that surprised to find you. It's been sooo long. I hope you don't mind my contacting you to see how you've been doing. I'd love to hear what you've been up to for...ohhhh the last twenty years or so!!! If you get a chance, send me an update.

Warm wishes,
Jan
August 16 at 8:50pm
Hi Jan!

It has been sooo long! I'm still a pastor, but have been a chaplain with Hospice for the last three years. Mary has been associate pastor at the same church in Fargo for 18 years, and I was at Hope Lutheran in Fargo, and then Good Shepherd Lutheran in Moorhead. I am living in the house that I grew up in. The duplex we had when David was two, was getting small when Mary was pregnant with Sarah and so we looked around and my old house was up for sale, after 25 years with the second owner, and we bought it and have lived here for 10 years now. David and I just got back tonight from canoeing and fishing with his cousin from Maryland, who was just commisioned an officer and will be stationed in South Korea. We went on the Crow Wing River near my folks cabin. They now live there most of the time, and also still have a place in Florida, which is close to Fort Lauderdale, which was good this past year, because Dad needed to have heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic there, and is still recovering, but now at the cabin.

I'd love to hear about YOUR last 20 years or so!!!

Warm Wishes as well,

Tom
August 16 at 9:08pm
Tom,

Wow...you've been very busy. Again, no surprise:) Dan and I have two daughters, Christina (17) and Megan (14). I don't know if you heard (likely not) that we lost Ryan in a car accident five years ago. He was 18 and fell asleep at the wheel five minutes from our house. So our focus is keeping it normal for the girls as much as possible....and they keep us very busy! Christina is quite the musician (horn and piano.....VERY good on the piano), and Megan is more like her brother and loves drawing and painting. Christina is entering her senior year and starts soccer next week. Megan is a sophomore and is joining the team this year.

Dan teaches at their school in Panama.......science of course! I am still at JCC and am now full time as an associate professor of biology. I'm sure you remember my teaching there part time all those years ago! Anyway, we have a log home that we added on to some years back and live right next door to Bruce and Birgit Hanson. We own about 8 acres, mostly forested......and we love the peace of the country. Things changed quite a bit at Holy Trinity, so many people left actually. The Hanson's attended church various places, but I'm not sure where they settled. Dan and I couldn't find the right fit, so unfortunately we don't really have a home church anymore. I really do miss that, but we couldn't find a place that seemed right for us. It was very hard to leave the church that I felt so connected to.

Other than working too hard and having too many "rescue" animals to keep up with.....that's about it. It's great to touch base after so many years.

Take Care,
Jan

August 17 at 10:28am
Jan,

I was so sad to hear about Ryan, I have thought about Ryan and you a lot throughout the years and have many good memories of him, like when I first met you and his was sitting on the floor playing in my office, riding on my shoulders at the park, pulling him on the sled at the cabin, and him sleeping in a tent. I can't imagine the pain that your whole family has gone through. I saw the picture of him on your facebook, and he looked just like I thought he would. I will keep you in my prayers with your continued loss and how to keep it "normal for the girls as much as possible". Your girls are beautiful and from your words appear to be wonderful and "normal" and it sounds like they have received many gifts from their mother as did Ryan.

I have noticed the changes at Holy Trinity through the years. I saw that Delores Bergstrand had died a few months back, and saw that Julie had written some memories about her on the Funeral Home web page. It's hard to see things change and understandable that you need to find a new church home and well as the Hansons. It's great to hear that you are living next to them and in a "Log Home"!

I have worshiped ever since I have been with Hospice with my family at Mary's Presbyterian church, but I often get my "Lutheran fix" when the kids are in sunday school, by walking over to two nearby Lutheran churches and get in a couple more sermons. I love being a chaplain with hospice, but I need to talk time to replenish myself spiritually, which often means walks in the woods and meditation.

It doesn't surprise me that you are so involved with rescuing animals. We may be needing another rescued animal soon, because our Siberian Husky Dakota is getting up in years.

David is starting 7th grade and plays both upright bass and electric and was just asked a couple of days ago to be in the local youth symphony. He is also in Aikido, a martial arts, which he started to help develop his bow strength and rhythm, but now is enjoying it for the exercise and "weapons!"

Sarah, is my lover of school, and gets her smarts from her mother, and may be skipping a year of school this year, and we have to make that decision. Her brother wants her to stay in fourth grade, because then they won't be in the same school! She is enjoying piano and loves to sing.

I am glad you are at JCC still and I am sure that you are an excellent professor!

Take care as well!

Tom
August 17 at 11:08pm
Tom,

Thank you for your thoughts and warm memories. I have some great memories from back then for sure. I have thought of you from time to time as well. I'm so happy that you are where you always considered "home" and that you're doing what you love. It sounds like you have a beautiful family as well. We were both blessed in those areas actually. I noticed you don't have any pictures...... I know that some people don't like posting personal pictures, so if that's the case, I fully understand, but of course I'd love to see your family. Let me guess....your kids are tall, right?

I'm glad to hear that your father is doing well after his surgery. We've been through a few health struggles with my Mom too, but she's doing very well overall. She now lives in a duplex at LSS, along with the Holts, the Andersons, and several other of her friends. It was hard to sell the house that my dad built, but it's been a good move for her.

I start school next Monday, so I'll be going crazy pretty soon. I love the teaching (especially working with the students), but it does get very intense relative to time and energy. Kinda hard to give up my summer actually, even though I did work through much of it.

It's really good to hear that you are so happy...... with your strong faith, I didn't have any doubts of course!

Take Care, Tom.
Jan :)
August 19 at 11:03pm
Jan,

I am really glad that you contacted me. I didn't know whether you wanted me to contact you or not. I have kept your needlepoints and pictures, and if you would like them back I would be happy to either mail them to you, or to your Mom if you think that would be more appropriate. It was selfish of me to keep them, and I really understand if you would like them back.

You were right about posting pictures of our children on the internet, but when we went to David's school yesterday to fill out forms, Mary for the first time signed a release for the school to publish his picture, and so I asked her about Facebook, and we both think that now that the kids are older, we are more comfortable with it. So... I will start putting up some pictures when I find some time. I'll let you know when they are up.

Take Care,
Tom



Today at 7:25am
Hi Tom,

It's sweet of you to offer the needlepoints, but I made those for YOU. That came from my heart, and I'd like for you to keep them.... that is unless that's a problem for some reason.

Just because things didn't work out between us, doesn't mean that my gifts are no longer "gifts." But thank you for considering that I might want to have them:). I remember you saying that perhaps someday we'd be talking as friends about each other's marriages and families...... you were very right! I'm glad that we're in contact again too. One thing was always true no matter what.... we were good friends above all else. I'm glad to see that you still feel that I'm a friend. I think of you when I hear that song "Friends".....funny :) Oh, and "Sonewhere out there....." (from An American Tail) is another one that brings me back to some very good times with you. It's very nice to have such fond memories.

I'm glad that you will post some pictures of your family. I'm anxious to see the little Holteys :)

I'll keep an eye out for them.....
Take Care,
Jan
Today at 7:34am
I have treasured them throughout the years, and will continue to do so!

I do miss talking with my friend, and" a friend is a friend forever, when the Lord is the Lord of them"!

Thank you for who you are, and for who you were for me!

Take Care,
Tom

Hi Jan!

I hope that your migraine is GONE!

I said that I would let you know when I posted some pictures, and I was able to get a couple up, that I think you can see in the main body of my Facebook page.

Take care,
Tom
August 21 at 5:05pm
Very nice looking kids..... I see their daddy in both of them:) OK, so you've seen what age has done to ME...... how about you? Let's see a Tom picture......you surely have some grays by now! Beard? None? You've seen MY wrinkles and bulges!!! Hahahaha.

Seriously, your kids are beautiful! Sons of Norway, huh? What a surprise :).

Thanks for posting the pics......
Jan
August 21 at 5:40pm
To quote a friend "you are always Hot"!

Here is the address to a Hospice article on our new website:

http://hrrv.org/stories-hospicehere.php

to get a look at the overweight (but losing!), getting totally gray (or white!) man.

Take care,
Tom
August 21 at 6:03pm
Tom,

First.....thanks for the compliment! I have to say that I don't hear that much at all anymore. I'm not the young blonde teacher that I used to be....I'm more the motherly figure now (literally!).

Second.... you look great! We've both added a few pounds (mine mostly since losing Ryan) and "matured" along with a few gray hairs (ah, but I can "highlight"!). But overall, I think twenty years have been kind to both of us. And....I remember those "warm eyes" very clearly :).

Third..... I am soooo impressed, and not surprised at all, by what you are doing. It takes a very special person to work with people who have in many cases lost hope or faith. You are doing something so wonderful.....and I know that you're very good at it. You always knew your calling....

Thanks so much for the picture and article:)
Take Care,
Jan:)

Hey Tom,

"Nature Girl" covers it all, my friend.....woods, water, jungle, AND spirit! I think it's mostly spiritual actually :). Sounds like you've been doing some "healing" things that I could most certainly use! Maybe I'll get some kayaking in this weekend on the lake....pretty tough schedule as always and LOTS of papers to grade. UGH! My spirit is truly in need of refreshing for sure. Frankly, having some pretty tough days (weeks, months, years), and I'm hoping to find a way to "find my way" if you get my drift.

I'm glad that you found a "teachable" moment with David. I miss when the girls were younger and I could grab those more easily.....gets harder as they get older and the fluff starts to fill their ears! I'll look back and miss these teenage years, right? Right???? Hehehe.

My girls are wonderful in so many ways, but sometimes I feel like my mouth is just moving with no audible sound...... I call them my Charlie Brown moments (the teacher is talking but you can't understand what she's saying). Feels that way when I'm teaching sometimes too.... maybe I just THINK I'm speaking english and a foreign language is actually springing out. What do you think???

Anyway, I'm glad that you found time away to commune with nature and connect with your son. I'm still hoping for a chance before the snow flies too. Getting pretty cold here at night though already.

Take Care,
Jan

I've felt the Charlie Brown's teacher's moments as well especially teaching confirmation, and sometimes preaching, and often at bedtime ( I'll miss these precious times. right? RIGHT???). The pastor in me says when in doubt what to say, pray! I pray for timing, all of the TIME, and SOMETIMES the timing is perfect :) (at least from my limited mortal perspective) it sure seems to be better timing (and content) than if I hadn't prayed. If I remember right you prayed more than I ever did. I now just say a lot of quick, simple and more heartfelt prayers. (oops, just said one for you!)

Tom Holtey October 7 at 4:18pm
Hi Jan

Since your prayers worked so well last time with "Live Tree" issue, and resolving my guilt, I thought I would enlist your prayers with another one from the past that might have a chance of resolving. Remember my talking about being First runner up to be in Concordia's concert choir my freshman year, and then second runner up my sophomore year, and then just not auditioning again? This has haunted me in many ways throughout the years. Well... The choir director at Concordia has decided to try a new adventure, and start a community choir (Its name is KiNNARA, and you can find it on Facebook) and I auditioned a few weeks ago. It was obvious, when I came into his studio that he had his doubts (I think only music teachers and majors are trying out), but I think it actually went pretty well (I cheated by taking a sauna first and that always relaxes me and helps my range!) He asked me how I had kept my voice in such good shape, and the only thing I could think of was the being a Preacher. Mary said I should have told him that "I do a lot of singing to people who are dying" :) So.. now I am waiting for others to try out until we find out who has picked. I would LOVE to sing with a excellent choir, and I have a feeling would help resolve some regrets in the past. You are the fifth person to know that I tried out , Mary, my former voice teacher, the director, and a phoneless person (He used to be homeless, but now that he is on Hospice, we got him an apartment, and now he is just phoneless :) He is praying for me also!

You continue to be in my prayers as you requested. If you want to be more specific let me know, but I am good at general prayer!

Take Care :)

Tom
Janis Alm Bowman October 7 at 5:23pm
Hi Tom,

Hey, I'll do what I can with the guy upstairs..... Seriously, I'll add you to my prayers and hope that you can resolve this one in the way that you are hoping. And by the way, taking the sauna was NOT cheating..... you "warm up" any way that works, right? If that works for you, all the power to you!

I wish you luck...... and thanks for thinking of me in your "top 5" :). Let me know how it all works out.

Take Care :)
Jan
Tom Holtey October 7 at 9:35pm
"I'll add you to my prayers and hope that you resolve this one in the way that you are hoping. " - I knew you were wise when it comes to prayer :)
Janis Alm Bowman October 7 at 10:01pm
Too philosophical? That's what you get when you ask ME :) I learned a LONG time ago that prayers aren't always answered the way we want them to be answered. However, I have faith in you, my friend, and I know that you have a beautiful voice. I sincerely hope that you get to raise it up in this new choir..... and THAT will be my prayer.

Good night,
Jan :)