As I mentioned in a recent post, my Uncle Don passed away recently. His oldest child, my cousin Bob, was going through Uncle Don’s safe deposit box and found a copy of my father’s will, which he mailed to me.

It starts out this way:

I, Herbert J. Dotterweich, now residing at 389 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, being of sound mind, and mindful of the uncertainty of this life, do make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament.

I know my dad modified the boilerplate language of wills to add the phrase “and mindful of the uncertainty of this life”.  I know because the will is dated November 20th, 1968. 11 days after my mom died of leukemia, less than six months after being diagnosed with it, at the age of 33. “Mindful of the uncertainly of this life” indeed. He was mindful of it for the rest of his years on earth, as he raised four kids by himself.

Today is my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 85. I miss him every day. But I also smile at the fact that when he changed the wording of the will, he added “the uncertainty of this life” not “the uncertainty of life.” Because he was a believer. I am too.

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