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What means something... what really means something, Warren... is the knowledge that you devoted your life... to something meaningful... to being productive and working for a fine company-- Hell, one of the top-rated insurance carriers... in the nation... to raising a fine family, building a fine home... being respected by your community... to having wonderful, lasting friendships. At the end of his career... if a man can look back and say, ''I did it. I did my job.'' then he can retire in glory and enjoy riches... far beyond the monetary kind. So, all of you young people here... take a good look at a very rich man. I love you, buddy.
I got a degree in Business and Statistics... and was planning to start my own business some day... build it up into a big corporation... Watch it go public, you know... maybe make the Fortune 500. I was gonna be one of those guys you read about. But somehow... it just didn't work out that way.Remember, I had a top-notch (excellent) job at Woodmen... and a family to support. I couldn't exactly put their security at risk.
Jeannie: -Mayonnaise or mustard?
Warren: -I like both. And don't toast the bread too much. I don't like my bread very toasted. And I’ll have some barbecue potato chips. Not the plain ones, those are your mother's. The barbecue ones are mine. You and Randall can take those plain ones. They'll just go to waste. I won't eat them. Maybe you can eat them on the plane.
Warren: It’s so good to see you. I wish you didn't have to get back so soon. Can't you take a few days more? Couldn't you talk to them at work? They'd understand. Heck... who's gonna take care of me?
Jeannie: Here's your sandwich.
Warren: Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Jeannie: Dad, you have to get used to taking care of yourself now.
Warren: I know, I know.
Jeannie: You might have to hire a maid.
Warren: A maid? No. I’ll be all right. I don't need the extra expense.
Warren: It occurred to me (it came into my mind) that in my last letter... I might have misspoken and used some negative language... in reference to my late wife. But you have to understand... I was under a lot of pressure following my retirement.
I’m not going to lie to you, Ndugu. It’s been a rough (hard, difficult) few weeks. And I’ve been pretty, you know... broken up from time to time. I miss her. I miss my Helen. I guess I just didn't know how lucky I was... to have a wife like Helen until she was gone. Remember that, young man. You've got to appreciate what you have... while you still have it.
Warren: Say, Randall... how'd that investment situation work out for you? You never called me.
Larry: Don't bring that up.
Duncan: You mean that pyramid scheme?
Randall: No, it wasn't.
Duncan: All I know is I lost 800 bucks.
Randall: If you'd stuck with it a little longer... you'd have seen results. You bailed out (to stop doing or being involved with something) too soon.
Roberta: Can we change the subject?
Priest: Do you, Randall Mead Hertzel... take Jean Boardwine Schmidt as your lawful wedded wife?
Randall: I do.
Priest: And do you, Jean Boardwine Schmidt... take Randall Mead Hertzel to be your lawful wedded husband?
Jeannie: I do.
Priest: I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Warren: I didn't get much sleep last night... so forgive me if I’m a little foggy (confused or unclear). But you know... today is a special day. We're here to mark a crossroads in the lives of two people. A crossroads where they come together... and now walk along a new road. It’s not the same road that they were on before. It’s a new road. A road that... As many of you know, I lost my wife recently. And Jeannie lost her mother. Helen and I were married 42 years. She died very suddenly. I know we all wish she could be with us today... and I think it would be appropriate... to acknowledge just how pleased she was... that Jeannie had found someone to share her life with. A companion. A partner. I recall the day when Jeannie first told us... she had been proposed to. We hadn't yet met this Randall fellow... so we were understandably a little suspicious. Later, she brought him home for Christmas... so we could get a look at him. I remember there was a big snowstorm... and Randall here helped me shovel off the front walk. He pitched right in (did it forcefully and effectively). But that brings me to what I really want to say.
Warren: What I want to say... What I really want to say is... Thank you, to you, Randall... for taking such good care of my daughter... especially recently with our loss. Ever since I arrived here a couple of days ago... I have so enjoyed getting to know Jeannie's new family. Roberta, thank you for your generosity... for opening your home. Your talent in the kitchen is... Larry, your wonderful eloquence. Saundra, your skill with handicrafts is truly remarkable. That item you showed me was so very artistic. Duncan, I haven't gotten to know you very well... but I could tell from our brief conversations... that you are a very thoughtful young man. Everybody else... terrific people. Terrific. And in conclusion... I just want to say on this special day... this very special day... that I am very... pleased.
Larry: Hear! Hear!
Warren: Dear Ndugu... you'll be glad to know... that Jeannie's wedding came off without a hitch (smoothly). She and Randall are on their way to sunny Orlando... on my nickel, of course. As for me, I’m headed back to Omaha. I’m driving straight through this time... and I’ve made only one stop... the impressive new arch over the interstate... at Carney, Nebraska... an arch that commemorates... the courage and determination of the pioneers... who crossed the state on their way west.
You've really got to see it to believe it... and it kind of got me thinking. Looking at all that history... and reflecting on the achievements... of people long ago put things into perspective (to compare something to other things so that it can be accurately and fairly judged).
My trip to Denver is so insignificant... compared to the journeys that others have taken... the bravery that they've shown... the hardships they've endured. I know we're all pretty small in the big scheme of things (the way things are organized or happen in a particular situation, or the way someone wants them to be organized)... and I suppose the most you can hope for... is to make some kind of difference.
But what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me? When I was out in Denver... I tried to do the right thing... tried to convince Jeannie she was making a big mistake... but I failed. Now she's married to that nincompoop (a foolish or stupid person)... and there's nothing I can do about it. I am weak... and I am a failure. There's just no getting around it (to succeed in avoiding or solving a problem).
Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in twenty years, maybe tomorrow. It doesn't matter. Once I am dead, and everyone who knew me dies, too... it will be as though I never even existed.
What difference has my life made to anyone? None that I can think of. None at all. Hope things are fine with you. Yours truly, Warren Schmidt.