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Defining moments in our lives

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Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:00 pm

A defining moment is generally a loss that has a profound impact or that affects our life in a memorable way. It is stashed away in our brain and resurfaces often. This is a difficult article for me to write, but it will be an honor to tell Melissa's friends. There may be some who read this and will understand, if they too have lost a child.

My first defining moment was in 1942 when we were at war with Japan. I was a senior in college and had a very dear friend by the name of Jim. Jim was of Japanese decent. He was standing on the bottom step as he was boarding a large yellow school bus. He looked back, waved at me and in a soto voice, said "Jack, you are going to work twice as hard during your lifetime because instead of two of us, you will be the only one." We had both been accepted to medical school, but he was leaving on a bus for some unknown destination. That was our last goodbye.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 1:15 pm on Sun, Sep 30, 2007.


    Dear Dr. Jack and Elsie,

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Melissa. She was a joy and treasure of a friend, and I miss her deeply. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for her loss. I always admired your wonderful family, and please give them my condolences, also. I look forward to when you will all be reuinted in God's kingdom.
    Lovingly, Nancy

  • posted at 8:47 am on Fri, Aug 24, 2007.


    Dear Dr. and Mrs. Leary, It is with much sadness that I read you wonderful tribute to Missy. You are in my heart and prayers for comfort and peace while you are greiving. When Jenanne and I were best friends at Lodi Academy, I always remember little "Missy". I hope to get your adddress from Jeneanne to send you a card.
    She was a remarkable woman, and I am so glad to read of her eventful and full life.I am glad that I saw her April 2006 at your home.
    Sandy Becker? Lodi Academy/1966

  • posted at 3:56 pm on Mon, Aug 20, 2007.


    Dear Dr. & Mrs. Leary and family,
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of your special girl, Missy. I'm thankful I had one last chance to see her in person at our class reunion last April. I enjoyed hearing about her life, her boys, and her work. I pray that you will feel God's arms around you during this difficult time of loss.
    Love, Arlene, Class of 1972 Lodi Academy

  • posted at 6:25 am on Mon, Aug 20, 2007.


    having lost dear ones in our family we know the lost you and your family fill my God bless you and comfort you at this time and the days to come....
    God Bless You Arturo and Rose Tovar

  • posted at 6:23 am on Mon, Aug 20, 2007.


    Although I did not know any of your children, you were very important to us at a pivital moment in our lives my husband was hit by a drunk driver in 1967 headon after 1 1/2 hrs they got him out of his trapped car and at the hospital you were on call and as his foot was hanging by a tread you put it back together into the medical annuals you both went...

  • posted at 7:45 am on Sun, Aug 19, 2007.


    Jack and Elsie,
    We had the honor of having Andrus, Chris and Trevor in our home this last week. Trevor and Chris impress us as gentlemen who were confident and eager to live thier lives in a way that would honor their parents. This is just as I remember Melissa. She honored you both in everything she did!

    I just wanted you to know that we loved Missy's family! You can be so very proud of them all! We are so very sorry for this great loss to your family.


  • posted at 6:42 am on Sun, Aug 19, 2007.


    Dear Dr. Jack:
    I read with tears, your wonderful tribute to Missy, your daughter and my classmate of many years. I knew of her wonderful and kind spirit from personal experience but your accounts of her post graduation activities around the world completed the picture of a truly wonderful person.

    We are praying for you and your family and hope that your memories of her life will heal the pain of her loss.

    Jay Bietz, Class of 1972 Lodi Academy



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