50

20160209_071455 There have been many times in my life I felt I wouldn’t live to see 50. I lived a dangerous and often stupid existence, particularly in my younger, adrenaline fueled years. The thought of jumping out of a helicopter, off the edge of a building or (be still my older, wiser heart) free climbing hundreds of feet up a sheer granite rock face, now makes me cringe. I made a lot, a l-o-t of mistakes in my youth, even into my 40s, and I look back at all of them now and wonder how I survived.

I’ve held explosives in my hands, thanks to the tutelage of the Army Corps of Engineers, and I’ve fired more types of weapons, under so many different scenarios, I can’t count how many close calls I’ve had (ignoring the vast number there must have been that I wasn’t even aware of).

20160112_121835I was a risk taker. From before I can even remember, fear seemed to have a weak grip on me, letting me slip from its grasp often and in situations that it would have been better embraced. To this day, my mom delights in telling the story of the time before I could walk, when she walked into the kitchen and found me perched on top of the refrigerator (or counter, or china cabinet…those details get fuzzy with age). I’m not old enough to remember the event, but my proclivity for climbing is one of my earliest memories.

I remember the first time I fell from a tree. I wasn’t yet out of elementary school and I landed only inches away from the sharpened edge of a cut off stump. I’ve always seemed to have a guardian angel hanging over my shoulder, and man did I keep her busy (I imagine my guardian angel to be female ;).

As I reach the age of 50 tomorrow, I’d like to make a deal with my guardian angel. The deal goes as follows:

Dear Guardian Angel,

I solemnly swear to refrain from dangerous, ill-advised, stupid or otherwise life threatening behavior for the remainder of my life, freeing you from your service to me, IF you will devote your sole attention, healing, and protective abilities to my one and only, my purpose for wanting to live…my wonderful, devoted, giving, and selfless wife, Diane–my Gretel. As you well know, she is suffering from very advanced cancer.

I know I’m not the praying sort and that might irk someone of your (guardian angel) nature, being a divine and holy creature. I’m certain though that you have stuck by my side through my entire spiritually cynical life. It’s obviously not a prerequisite to believe to have a guardian angel–evidenced by my continued existence on this plane despite my best (though unintentional) efforts to thwart you.

That’s it. That’s all I want. Save her and leave me to my own devices. The world is a warmer and richer place because of my Gretel, and I have no reservations whatsoever, stating that she is by far the greater gift to the world. So let’s get this done…do up the contract, drop it on my pillow or my desk, whatever it is that lady angels have to do to transfer power of protective attorney, and let me sign that sucker…my Gretel needs you. As diligent as you’ve been watching over me for the last five decades, I’m certain that keeping a wonderfully warm light shining, such as my Gretel, would be a walk in the park compared to watching over me.

I’ll be waiting for your reply.

Sincerely and with Warmest Regards,
S.L. Shelton

P.S. Thanks for not setting off those artillery simulators I was carrying around without the safeties. Whew! That was a close one.

S.L. Shelton is the author of an Amazon Bestselling Political Thriller/Action Espionage Series, (The Scott Wolfe Series). Follow him here on WordPress, on Twitter @SLSheltonAuthor or Facebook.  His wife Diane suffers from an advanced cancer and is in aggressive treatment, consuming time, energy and resources. If you feel the desire to help, you can make a contribution to the GoFundMe that their daughter set up, or buy his books.

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