Sometimes, it’ll come up in conversation among family. We’ll repeat it. We’ll remember it. But we’ll still struggle to understand it. In every prayer we ever heard Daddy utter publicly – either in church, at a family gathering, or as he blessed the food – he’d always say, “Dear Lord, we thank you for the trials and tribulations of this life, knowing they bring us closer to thy Almighty hand.” What? Thankful for the trials and tribulations? He never waivered. He said it always and practiced it faithfully. In the hardest of times, Daddy thanked God openly and often. He’d say, “Let us learn what you’d have us to learn in the midst of this storm.” Let me be frank: 2018 has not been my favorite. It seems like most days have been a struggle in one way or another. Deadlines were unrelenting. Too many at one time. Aggravations of this or that. The kudzu grew at a record pace. Burt Reynolds died. This, after I’d spent a week trying to chase him down, two months earlier, in Jupiter, FL. My migraines increased and stomach pains were so strong for so long that I began to think I could feel cancer eating away at the lining. It turned out to be ulcers from a bacterial infection that was so serious that it took four weeks, twice daily, massive antibiotics to heal.