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Elaine L. Jack

A young man newly out of graduate school got a new job, bought a home, and made all kinds of plans to remodel it into his dream home, complete with a gym and study.  Within seven months he got engaged to a woman with three young daughters.  Six months after they were married his wife was expecting a baby.  Things weren't easy for this family.  The young man's job was promising but not lucrative.  To meet expenses he took a second job as a newspaper delivery man.

One Saturday morning, cold and early, he pulled out of his driveway listening to a blues song on the radio.  He resonated to the song about love and life and the pain of trying to get ahead in a grueling world, and he sank right into the blues himself.  As he drove from site to site making his deliveries, the blues deepened into what you might call the blue funk.  Now, to be in the blue funk is to feel like two cents looking for change.  It is to think hope has gone south for the winter and has forgotten to come back.

As the sun crept into a new day, he thought about his life.  He mentally looked at the faces of each one in his family and walked through the halls of his home.  He considered his profession, his extended family, his neighborhood, and his church responsibilities.  He weighed the complexities and challenges, the satisfactions and pleasures.  And into his mind came one sentence:  "Life doesn't get any better than this."

He said:

It was a realization that arrived unbidden.  It didn't mean life couldn't get any easier or that I wanted to have the blues.  It simply meant I had everything I needed.  And it hadn't been that way when I lived alone and roamed my house, planning the interior.  (Bruce Sylvester, "Making Room," Christian Science Monitor, 25 August 1992, p.19)

Some years later he invited his aging parents to come live with him and his family.  As he rose at 3 a.m. daily to help his mother with her needs, he often thought, "Life doesn't get any better than this." 
He never got his library or gym, but in the midst of his very full house, he thanked the Lord often for what was also a very full life. 

The following excerpt is from a talk given by Elaine L Jack at a BYU fireside on 3 January 1993 in the Marriott Center.