25 December 2019 A.D.
What a rare thing it is to get a letter from anyone these days. Everyone communicates with text messages now, so writing and receiving a letter is always a fun surprise.
I have read your poem, “Time Will Tell On You” many times. I think it is not only one of your best, but one of the best poems I have ever read. My own experience with people and the dating system is much like your own: very few people have any concept of why it is the year it is. You know what is interesting? At some point when I was in college, I wrote a paper and submitted it…as I always did. I typed the date in the upper right-hand corner…as I always did. However, one professor got upset that I used the terms “BC” and “AD” throughout my paper. He informed me that “they” had changed the official dating system. Now, the “proper” terms were “BCE” and “CE”. This stood for, he told me, “Before Common Era” and “Common Era”. I was told that I needed to use those dates when referencing time in future papers in his class.
I took the opportunity to ask him (even though I had my own suspicions) why the terminology had changed. Being an educated man, he knew exactly what the terms BC and AD stood for and the reason for the change, he noted, was to be more inclusive of non-Christian people. These new terms were “culturally neutral”. I told him that I would be happy to use the proper terminology while in his class, but until “they” changed the entire calendar system, it didn’t matter what term they chose to use! It would still be based on anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi (in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ). It reminded me of Shakespeare’s famous words from Romeo and Juliet: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. You may call it whatever you wish, but you are exactly right: until time itself changes, time will tell on you.
One of the greatest blessings in my life is marrying into your family. You and Mamma are extra-ordinary people and I am humbled that, even though I am not a blood relative, I have been adopted and considered as one. Merry Christmas, sir! I’m happy that we can spend it with you.
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence