Dieter F. Uchtdorf is a member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I learned this morning that he is one month older than the children's father. It gave me pause.
President Uchtdorf fled political persecution as a child in East Germany and has consistently followed the Savior. He has served humbly, in positions of increasing responsibility, and is loved and respected by 15 million people.
The children's father joined the Church in California two weeks to the day before I was converted and baptized in Idaho. He and I have had our individual struggles to remain faithful and active.
(I never lost my testimony, even when I was struggling hardest to apply the principles I've come to love, in daily life.) I've managed to "stay in the boat" [see the October 2014 General Conference talks on lds.org to appreciate that reference].)
The children's father has splashed and flailed and nearly drowned at times. He was able to regain the privilege of a temple recommend a few years ago.
It was weird and uncomfortable to run into him -- frequently -- on Thursday nights when I was serving as a temple worker, even after I remarried. Once, while waiting for my sealing cancellation from him, he asked how that was going. I told him it was stuck in Salt Lake. He exclaimed, "What the hell's wrong with those people?" Loudly. In the foyer of the temple.
No filter. One more thing lost to his diabetes and the multiple strokes. Our children still love him. As they should. They have no use for the (truly) crazy lady he "married" (no license, just some words said over them by somebody at her church). I will be biting my tongue at Thanksgiving.
Thankfully, I will come home to the peaceful house provided for me by Beloved, who in his own less public way followed humbly in the steps of President Uchtdorf and the prophets and the Savior and is now serving and blessing others in the world of spirits.
We all get to decide who we'll be.