Getting your mail is important. My wife and I are kind of terrible when it comes to remembering to walk to the end of our sidewalk and open that black box. However, today I hobbled over and pulled out a weekend’s worth of letters, spam, and packages.

I hobbled because over the weekend we got snow. It was the first snow of the season. Overjoyed with the new white powder, my son wanted to build a snowman. This wasn’t snowman-friendly snow. It didn’t stick together and took 45 minutes just to get a ball rolled that might on a normal day be considered a snowman’s head. I took on most of the responsibility of compacting this puffy non-stick irritant. Up and down I went, squat after squat until I gave up. We hurled the ball at our tree and called it a day. Little did I know, but my inner thighs were screaming for recovery. Thus two days later, I am still hobbling around and trying to sit as much as possible.

Amongst the political trash in our mail, I found a letter from my dermatologist. I had been expecting a call for about a week. They chose to send a letter instead. On a single sheet of letterhead were two sentences. The second was a boilerplate “if you experience any issues, please call to make an appointment” deal. The first was the diagnosis of my biopsied mole. In medical speak, it was a melanocytic nevus with seborrheic keratosis features (a scaly mole). The parts I had to google aside, after the jargon it stated “Reassure – Benign” with a line break between.

There are times when I have felt overwhelming joy—my children’s birth, my wedding day, my graduation from college, etc. There are fewer times when I have felt overwhelming relief mixed with joy. My daughter’s birth (it was a C-section), waking up after my appendectomy, and today. I am not going to die from skin cancer in the near future.

In some ways, I am pleased to have gone through this experience, especially at a young enough age to do something about it. I had to take stock of my life and figure out who I was and who I wasn’t. If I were going to die, I wanted to spend my remaining life in peace. I’m taking the lessons I learned from the last few weeks and putting my values into action.

LTM and my writing are going to be my prime work effort. And my family comes before it. So buckle up and hold on. There is no stopping me now.

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