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July 13, 2020 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,

Larry Deibert has written fourteen books.

He is a Vietnam veteran and is the past president of the Lehigh Northampton Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Macungie, Pa. Larry retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2008 after working as a letter carrier for over 21 years. He and his wife, Peggy, live in Hellertown, Pa., where he enjoys reading and writing.

Larry’s website is www.larryldeibert.com.

You can contact Larry at larrydeibert@rcn.com. Signed copies of Larry’s books may be purchased directly from the author.

Today, July 13th, 2020, is my 73rd birthday and I my topic is mortality. I have gotten farther along in my years than I ever thought I would, and this subject really hit me last August.

I took my son to a ball game on his 42nd birthday. Around the eighth inning he said, “Dad, I’m 42 and you’re 72. In 8 years, I’m going to be 50 and you’re going to be 80! What do you think you would like for your 80th birthday?” Without hesitation, I replied, “I’d like to be alive.” I think he was stunned, but I cannot honestly say that I’ll attain that lofty age. I hope I do, and in reasonably good health.

In my life I have done many things that I would never have thought possible when I was younger. I graduated from high school and business school. I went into the army, served in Vietnam, and survived. I married the mother of my two kids. When I was 39 and a half, I lost a great paying job and became a letter carrier, retiring after nearly 22 years in 2008. I helped to create a Vietnam memorial, a lasting tribute to the 126 men from Lehigh and Northampton counties lost during that war, and a place for all veterans to be honored.

In 1974, when I found out I was going to be a dad, I decided to write a book about my limited army experiences, in case Agent Orange would take my life before my children would know me. 23 rejections later, I gave up, and didn’t write again for 25 years. Since 1999, I have written and self-published fourteen books and I am currently working on a rewrite of my first vampire novel.

I think we try to guess how long we might live, based on the lifespans of our parents and siblings. Unfortunately, my mom was 71 and my dad was 76 when they died. My sister is still going strong a month and a half before her 82nd birthday, so I would certainly like to walk in her longevity shoes. One of my mother’s sisters died at 37, and her brothers died at 75 and 92. My dad’s brothers and sisters lived long lives, except for a brother who committed suicide when he was late forties; PTSD from WWII. Studying all the numbers can be overwhelming, and only God knows how long I will live, so I just try to do my best every day.

Since Covid-19 has become a part of all our lives, I hope I am fortunate to not become a statistic, having many more years to write and to watch my two grandchildren grow up. We had not seen our grandkids since March 8th, but on June 28th, we finally had the opportunity to visit with them. Seeing how much they had changed in over one-hundred days was remarkable. Cody, who turned two on July 1st, had learned more words. He had grown a little in our absence. Avery, now five and a half, talked like there was no tomorrow, and she had become so pretty while we were quarantined from them. She read out loud to me for the first time. Those are moments I will never forget. Oh, Avery was our Christmas present in 2014, being born around six PM in the evening. We had hoped that Cody would be born on July 4th, giving us two holiday grandkids, but that didn’t quite work out.

I am so lucky to be retired and able to travel with my wife, Peggy. Every year we go to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and over the eighteen years I have known her we have traveled to England and Scotland, Seattle, California and Hawaii, and perhaps more places in the future. Travel or do whatever you enjoy as often as you can, because if you put off that trip or project until next year, next year may never come. There is way too much to do and see in this world, even if your world does not extend as far as mine has. I don’t have a bucket list on paper, but I know some of the places I want to see. I want to go to Texas to see my Cowboys play and stand in the shadow of the Alamo. I would like to see a baseball game in St. Louis, and we would someday love to go to Wales.

Do not take a single day for granted and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something without even trying.

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