Dear Friends and Family, Far and Wide,
Merry Christmas! May the peace and saving grace of Christ through his precious blood which was shed on the cross at Calvary be with you and yours! A lot has changed with our little family since last year’s letter. Since I actually got a few complaints about the length of that one when the Easter cards arrived this past spring (especially those from a certain someone — come on, people, is reading a 16-page letter really that much of a chore?), I’ll try to keep this year’s version shorter and more to-the-point. (Okay, Julia? Are you happy now, you miserable killjoy? Ha ha, just kidding.)
Well, we started the year off with some bad news. In February Rick lost his job at the book-binding plant when they outsourced his department to Mexico. He spent several months looking for work, but was unable to find any and eventually was forced to swallow his pride and go on welfare — or as we say around the house, “take the Obama money!” We kid him about selling his soul, but he knows it is all in good fun. (I hope you are happy, Nora Roberts! Does it feel good to know the advance for your newest smutty dime novel is printed with the blood of the American middle class?) Falling on hard times left Rick vulnerable to temptation, and in a moment of weakness he allowed himself to be possessed by demons of alcoholism and adultery — simultaneously on at least one occasion according to Rachel, our foster daughter, whom God chose to bear witness to her surrogate father’s depravity and thus begin to lead him from the darkness into the light. Things have been looking up more recently, I am happy to report. Since the regrettable incident on Thanksgiving, Rick has rededicated his life to the Lord, and attended daily meetings of the Alcoholics Anonymous group at the Catholic Church on Washington Street. It wasn’t our first choice, of course, but none of the other churches in town have AA groups, so it was either the Catholics or the group that meets at the YMHA (no thank you!). Rick has now been sober for nearly two weeks, and with God’s help and the love and prayers of all of you, there is every reason to believe he will at least last until Christmas!
But 2009 wasn’t all storm clouds and rain at Camp Henderson! In July our son Shawn finally graduated from his OneByOne program! It took him two years, and four tries, but he’s finally cured! So look out in 2010, ladies! This clan’s young buck is looking to rut! And he’s bringing his best friend and fellow OneByOne graduate Christian along, too! What a couple of heartbreakers those two will be. I hope their future wives don’t mind double dates, because they are practically inseparable!
In August Rick and I were honored to help Judy, our oldest, welcome back our cherished son-in-law Gerald from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan! If you add that to the time he spent serving in Iraq, it means he’s given his entire adult life to the defense of his country against the vile Muslims who perpetuated 9/11. And boy does it ever show; on the drive home, he completely forgot about his son, Paul! “Grandson?” he asked Rick, looking puzzled. “You guys have a grandson?” We all had a good laugh, including Gerald! He is our hero, even if he does sometimes forget things like where he is and who we are. Apparently the doctors say the memory loss was caused by one of the traumatic head injuries Gerald suffered while performing his glorious service to God and country. But Judy says he always was the forgetful type, so who really knows? We are just grateful to God for his grace in allowing Gerald to finally come home with his family for good. Before we heard about his honorable discharge, we used to joke that by the time he finally got out he wouldn’t have any of his original arms or legs! It was all for laughs, though, as Gerald wound up only losing the limbs on his right side. God be praised!
Oh, and I almost forgot — in September I got the biggest thrill of all when, after waiting in line outside our Barnes & Noble for seven hours, I got to meet the one and only Sarah Palin! She signed my copy of her book, Going Rogue (which was excellent, by the way!!!) and when I asked her if she thought she could do a better job as president than Barack Hussein Obama, she winked at me and said “You betcha!” It was AWESOME!!!!! Sarahcuda in 2012!!!!!
Well, I guess that’s it for the Christmas Letter. We hope you have all been well! Try sending us a Christmas letter for a change, some of you! We’re tired of doing all the work around here (just kidding, ha ha)! May the precious, cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ redeem you and bring you peace that surpasses understanding, Amen!
The Henderson Family
Read the Hendersons’ 2006 Christmas letter.