December 15, 2001

Dear Friends and Family,

‘Tis almost the night before Xmas and the Dorfman annual letter is yet to be written.

As most of you know, last December Jennafer got engaged to a wonderful man named Mark Wagner.  From that day until the wedding on October 28th, my time was taken up with what I call the Monterey Shuffle.  Jenn was fortunate to have three wonderful showers, one of which was in Nebraska, where I got to meet Mark’s two families, the Foxes and the Wagners.  This journey put my mind at ease for I saw people who loved my daughter and thought she was as wonderful as our whole family does.  This made all the work ahead much easier.

Come the day of the wedding I was so grateful to be surrounded by all the Dorfmans, Merlins, Hoffmans, Villano family members—again thank you for making the long journey.  We will treasure it in our hearts forever.  My only regret that day was that my father was unable to join us, however as I listened to the beautiful string quartet he provided for the ceremony, I could feel his love around us.

Taking advantage of my sister and brother-in-law coming for the wedding, Merlin and I left Dad in their capable hands and went to the Big Island of Hawaii to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  Seeing a live volcano and staying in a peaceful, beautiful environment let us both unwind.

In three more days our “baby” Stephanie will be home from St. Kitts.  We are so grateful she will be off the island and going to do her clinical year at Washington State University in Pullman.  She and her fiancé Danny Slaton have told us to start gearing up for a 2003 Memorial Day wedding.  At least this will give me a lot more time.

As I started writing this letter my thoughts were on the spirit of Chanukah, “the importance of freedom and tolerance,” and Christmas, “the message of peace on earth, good will to all men.”  Our family has shown that love can bridge all ethnic and religious differences.  To me the lesson of September 11 is to look for common ground and keep loving one another.  As Essie, a great lady who happened to be black, told me as a child, “Trash is trash,” and color, religion, and money don’t determine who the trash are.

May the good Lord bless and keep us all in the new year.

Sandy, Merlin, Dad, and Steph