A Difficult Day

UPDATE: Grandpa Wilson went home to be with the Lord late last night. Thanks so much for all of your prayers.

I’d like to take the opportunity today to ask you guys to join me in praying for my grandfather and family.

Last week was a normal week for my grandpa. He worked  40+ hours at a job he’s loved and held for 60 years. Then he started his weekend off running errands for neighbors and friends then checked his email and facebook, all stuff he loved to do. But while blowing leaves out of his yard in Toledo, Ohio, he had a horrible fall, fracturing his cervical vertebrae and bruising his spinal cord.  Since the fall he has been paralyzed from the neck down and not able to breathe on his own.

My father, along with his siblings, have painstakingly and prayerfully decided to respect the wishes of his living will and this morning will have his ventilator removed.

My dad summed it up well last night. He said, “I am looking at tomorrow as if we are walking dad across the stage to receive his diploma. Don’t know, but I can imagine mom (my grandma passed away several years ago. They were married for 57 years.) on the other side of the stage to receive him.”

I wanted to share this with you guys because, whether you realize it or not, you’ve been a part of his community. He loved to read this blog. He told me on many occasions that his favorite part of my blog was the comments. And while he would only occasionally make a comment, he would read every single one of them daily.

Thanks for all the different ways you entertained, encouraged and challenged him with your thoughts, perspectives and wisdom. I wish every one of you could have had the honor and privilege I had of being loved, believed in, and mentored by such an amazing man. My life will forever be changed because of his influence.

Love you, grandpa.

130 Responses to “A Difficult Day”

  1. Laura Anne says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Pete. Praying for you and your family. Can totally see your boys in him though – definitely a strong family resemblance!

    I think your Dad sums it up beautifully. Goodbyes are tough, and we miss people when they leave this earth – but in this case, it’s not goodbye, but see you later. I hope that when Jesus comes back/we all go on to heaven & new earth, I get to meet your Grandpa in person. Certainly it sounds like he is leaving a huge legacy with so much positive influence his life has had on this earth.

    Thinking of you all.

    Laura Anne x

  2. Melissa says:

    Oh, Pete, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. What a blessing it is to know that loved ones are going to a place that’s better by far!

  3. Pete, you and your family are in my prayers. That is not an easy decision to make. May God be your peace in the midst of such a tough time.

  4. Prayers said for you and the family Pete.

  5. Carrie says:

    Prayers for you and your family.

  6. Shari says:

    Praying for you and your family!

  7. NancyB says:

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear this!
    What a difficult thing for your family to have to do – but how wonderful he had the foresight to have a living will. I’m sure your grandmother is eagerly awaiting his return to her.
    I’ll be thinking of you and your family over these next few days.

  8. JC says:

    My prayers are with you and your family as you adjust to the reality of his promotion into Heaven and what that means to navigate this world without his physical presence. I totally understand. My grandfather received his diploma in July. The first I witnessed and the most conflicted I’ve ever felt in my life – rejoicing in my spirit for all he gained, but crying in my soul for all I felt I’d lost. The reality? He’s still with me. I just can’t touch him or see him. But one day I will again. Hugs, prayers and love to you, Pastor.

  9. LeAnn says:

    Praying that you all feel God’s peace and love today.

  10. Lance Lockhart says:

    We love you and your family, we are praying.

  11. Kristy williams says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather! You are lucky to have all of the great memories to remember

  12. Jamie says:

    Praying for you and all of your family, Pete.

  13. Sara Glaser says:

    Praying for your grandpa, you and your family and rejoicing over the fact that your grandpa had a relationship with Jesus! I pray that HE comforts all of you in a mighty way.

  14. Melissa says:

    I feel you. And I’m praying for you and your family. Our God is. He is, still is and will continue being… with you and providing each and every need. I’m sorry for this unexpected Plan B moment you and your family are going through. Praying.

  15. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful testimony to the faith we share Pete. Not only is your grandma waiting on the other side, Jesus is walking with your grandfather to go meet her. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless you Pete.

  16. Fran says:

    Oh Pete…
    I’m so sorry, but how I love the analogy your dad shared about receiving his diploma! YES HE IS!!! I’m praying for your family today. May you be surrounded by intense love and peace.

  17. Shane Duffey says:

    Thanks for sharing this Pete… and being a great example of how to ‘grieve with hope’. Praying for your family.

  18. Gina Ellis says:

    Pete, your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Beautifully written. Your Dad is wise and summed it up. He will always live in your hearts and memories. Sorry for your loss.

  19. Jeff says:

    Praying for your family this morning Pete. God’s blessing on you and your family as you walk through this time together.

    Rev Jeff

  20. Corinna says:

    Praying Gods comfort on all your family today and days and weeks ahead .. xx

  21. Gail says:

    I am heartbroken for you and your family but rejoice for your grandpa that he will soon meet our Heavenly Father. Prayers for you and your family in this difficult time.

  22. Susie a says:

    Praying for you and your family Pete….

    Susie a.

  23. You are in our prayers…

  24. Jessica says:

    Praying for your family today, Pete.

  25. Lea Ann Owens says:

    Pete, Rusty and I are praying peace for you and your family. This is a precious thing in the eyes of our Lord, the passing of one of His children. May that bring you great comfort today. We love you.

  26. I am very sorry to hear this and my prayers will be with you and your family. I am saddened but at the same time in awe at the way you and your family are handling this. This is a testimony of what it means to be a follower of Christ. He indeed is going to be receiving his ” good and faithful servant diploma” today. You have been a great encouragement, may you and your family be encouraged today.
    God bless you all,

  27. Praying that your whole family is comforted during this time.

  28. I’m so sorry to hear your family is going through such a difficult time Pete. It’s always a balance for people of faith at moments like these, and I pray that you all feel the loving arms of our Heavenly Father tightly wrapped around you as your grandfather is lifted to Heaven.

    I’m praying for you all.

  29. bluegoose says:

    Pete: I’m so sorry to hear this news. Will be praying for you and your family – especially your Dad.

  30. Jessica says:

    Pete, definitely praying for you, your family and your grandfather. It’s so difficult to make the decision to follow someone’s living will when that means they will leave this earth. It sounds like his time here was magical and he was able to touch everyone in your family and beyond. I pray you think about those memories through this time.

  31. Joanne says:

    ♥ Hugs to you and your entire family.

  32. Karyn says:

    Praying for you and your family, Pastor Pete. Your grandfather has given you and your family a wonderful legacy of loving the Lord.

  33. Lori says:

    prayers of comfort and joy to you and your family. When my Grandma passed it was the most peaceful thing I’d ever seen. It was as though the room lit up. I’ve never experienced it since. Take care brother….

  34. Karen La Mar says:

    Your dads comment about your grandpa getting his diploma reminds me of how mixed the emotions can be. Praying for peace and joy only God can give for all of you.

  35. Melinda says:

    What an apt analogy your Dad made! Stitching our entire family, as well as your Grandpa, into my prayers.

  36. Eddie Poole says:


    Your Grandad sounds amazing. I know how much I miss my grandfather & the mark that he made on my life.

    Considering that, your family will be in my prayers as you go through this time. Hang in there bro.

  37. Jen says:

    I remember whn we all wished him happy birthday in your comments. Funnest blog post ever :) Praying for your family through this “hard joy” time.

  38. Andy says:

    Pete I will be praying and calling on God’s angels to comfort your entire family. Will be praying for your grandpa as he gets ready to walk across the stage. I know it will be diffcult but I know God will be there for your entire family,cause He takes care of His sons and daughters. I Love you and your family. If there is anything else I can do let me know.

  39. Starling Nowell says:

    Thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I’m sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, your grandfather couldn’t have been more pleased at your continual service to our God. May the Father wrap His loving arms around all of you, bathe you in the blood of Jesus and comfort each of you during this time. Blessings :)

  40. Laurie says:


    We are definitely praying for your family today.

  41. Laura says:

    You are honoring him with this decision, difficult as it may be. Our prayers for your family.

  42. Jenn says:

    Pete I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing, so grateful the joy of your grandpa going home, so inspired by his influence on you, and desperately in prayer for your family today. Love to you and yours today!

  43. Jeremy Jennette says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your Grandpa, you and your family, Pete.

  44. Janie says:

    I’m so sad this morning, reading of your loss. I can remember wheny grandfather died, & that causes me to hurt for you more. You will miss him, but Gods peace passes understanding.I thank God for your Grandpa.

  45. Oh Pete I’m so very very sorry. How hard it is to make a decision like that, let alone lose someone you love so much. We had to do that with my dad. I will beg the Lord for comfort and peace for you and your family.

  46. Kelley says:

    You dad couldn’t have said it any better: I am looking at tomorrow as if we are walking dad across the stage to receive his diploma. Don’t know, but I can imagine mom on the other side of the stage to receive him.”

    Keeping the Wilson’s in my thoughts today.

  47. paulaswift says:

    Oh Pete – praying for you and your family. What a precious tribute you are to him as he’s been to you.

  48. sheila says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God’s peace just envelope you, some days heaven seems so near. In God’s Love, sheila

  49. Joyce says:

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  50. Jennifer says:

    I am so very, very sorry Pete. You all will be in my prayers.

  51. Lisa says:

    Praying for you and your family Pete. The analogy of your dad receiving his diploma was wonderful. I only hope my friend George who recently died of alcoholism has received his diploma in Heaven as well.
    May you find comfort with family and friends during this difficult time.

  52. britt savage says:

    Oh Pete, I am so very sorry. I can’t believe how fast this has all happened. When your grandfather was a guest at church, it was so clear that he was such a big influence on you. I know you’ll meet him again but I’m so sad that you won’t have him here on earth.

    • Pete Wilson says:

      He was so nervous the Sunday he spoke at Cross Point. I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to stop him once he got going. :) Turned out to be one of my favorite Cross Point Sunday’s ever.

  53. Kelita Deems says:

    So sorry to hear of this!I will keep you and your family in my prayers. What a heritage you have with your grandpa. May the Lord bless you and keep you all and surround you with His peace.

  54. Aaron says:

    Pete, you and your entire family are in our prayers and have been. I am so sorry. May God give you a peace beyond understanding on this difficult day and the ones to follow. So sorry my friend.

  55. dan says:

    So sorry to read this. My prayers are with all the Wilson family.

  56. Beth says:

    Amen. I’m sure he’s about to receive a great welcome. What a lovely eulogy you’ve written for him. You must have loved him very much. This blog is a blessing. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Prayers for you and you family. I hope you can be comforted on this difficult day and over the Christmas season.

  57. Robin Pippin says:

    Pete, what a beautiful image from your dad! Holding you and your family in prayer today. Robin

  58. Sarah says:

    Beautiful what your dad said. Praying for u and ur family. Thankful to have u as our pastor.

  59. Charles Hill says:

    Praying HIS power over ever step you take, word you speak and grief you and your family carry.

  60. Sarah S. says:

    This just hurts my heart for you, your family, and your grandpa — even though he is going to have the best day ever. What a difficult time. My grandpa died a little over 4 years ago now — after living in horrible pain for 3 years. He laughed as he died, and I have to believe it was at the sight of my grandmother. But I still miss him, especially around Christmas. Grandparents are extra special people.

  61. Brad J says:

    Pete–The deepest longing of your grandfather’s heart has been fully satisfied in Christ. And now, for you, the longing for heaven will grow a little bit because heaven just became sweeter. My prayer are with you. Brad

  62. jan owen says:

    Pete, I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. They are gifts in our life, aren’t they? I’m so thrilled that you had so many wonderful times with him – what a great blessing to hold on to. I still miss my grandparents and think alot about how I wish I could tell them something or show them something. Praying for you and your entire family today. Big hug!

  63. Jenni Catron says:

    Many prayers for you and your family! I’ve admired how you’ve loved, respected and honored him through the years. He was so incredibly proud of you.

  64. Chris Steiger says:

    Hey Pete. I almost never comment on a post, although I read most of yours. However, I remember that almost a year ago I commented when you first posted this picture of your grandpa after he broke his hip. I said something about how great it is that your boys got to know him. I’ll be praying for you as you walk through these days as a grandson, son, father, husband and pastor. Blessings

  65. Amy Argo says:

    Praying for you all today. I can’t imagine…

    • vicki says:

      On our knees for you and your family, Pete. We are so grateful for your grandpa and the great influence he has had in your dad’s life and in yours. We are greatful that he is a discipler, a fisher of men, a salt shaker, an influencer, a peaceamker, an image bearer. We are grateful how God used him to shape you and we are all better for it as that influence has filtered down to each of us. Thank you, Grandpa Wilson for challenging us all upward. We love you, Pete.

  66. Angie says:

    So so sorry for your loss. He truly is/was an amazing man, as you’ve described. Praying for you all…

  67. Shaun Groves says:

    Praying for you and yours, Pete. So thankful you had a godly grandfather’s influence in your life all these years.

  68. Jeff says:

    So sorry for the loss that you and your family will fill. May God give you the peace and comfort that only He can give! You and your family will be in my prayers!

  69. A Friend says:

    I pray that you and your family will remember the good times and know that he is home.

    God Bless you.

  70. Dana Lampley says:

    Pete, I am so sorry to hear this, I will pray for the comfort of your family. I really like the way your dad has viewed his blessed journey and reward to his new place in glory and the loved ones he will meet there. It was said to me that way when I had lost my grandfather at age eleven as he had joined my grandmother who had past 3 yrs before. They had told me that He and my Grandmother were now imagined to be sitting together on a bridge swinging there feet in the river jordon happy to be together again.
    Much blessings during this time for you and your family. And thank you for sharing such an intimant moment of your life with us. Prayer be with you.
    Dana Lampley, Dickson campus.

  71. Jesse Land says:

    Blessings to you and your family in grieving and dealing with this loss. My grandpa is the hero of our family as well, and part of me doesn’t even want to think about when this day will happen with him. I always appreciate your honesty and vulnerability with this blog community, and even though many of us don’t know you personally, and are spread across this country and world, we are standing with you right now brother.

  72. Bryan says:

    Praying for you and your family, Pete!

  73. Joe Pote says:

    Wow! What a loss, but what a legacy!

    May each of us leave a legacy as powerful as your grandfathers!

    Thank you for sharing, Pete.

    Praying for you and your family during this difficult time of deep sorrow combined with thankfulness.

  74. Lynda Blandin says:


    I’ve had the privilege of knowing your family for over forty years. Both your grandpa & grandma are/were such amazing examples of how God changes people when they ask Him into their lives. I’ve been praying since I heard on Sunday about Bill’s fall. When we lose someone it’s so hard to get through, but the promise of seeing them again in heaven eases that pain.

    We’re still praying for all of you.

  75. Sue says:

    Praying for you and your family, Pete.

  76. shelbie says:

    Praying that you feel the Lords comfort & peace during this difficult time.

  77. Kristin says:

    Ive only met you once but follow your blog and have “met” grandpa on here. This post broke my heart. I pray you were able to travel and write it from his bedside. As a nurse I know living wills are so vital. As a family member I know they are so hard to honor.
    Praying for you and your family. My tears are falling with yours. My heart empathizes. God bless y’all, hold you and love you and keep you strong.

  78. Evie Nicole says:

    Although I’ve never met him, I feel like I know him because I know you. It’s comforting that his legacy is being continued through you and the boys. Praying for Grandpa Wilson’s comfort today and peace for you and your family. Love you guys.

  79. I have not commented in a while but still read your blog often. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayer Pete.

    We are facing a season of loss as well – my beloved father in love is losing the battle to cancer now. Please keep him and our family members in your prayers. He has not received the most amazing gift of eternal life. We pray for him daily to be touched by God in such a tangible way he can no longer deny His love!

    Many blessings – Jill

  80. Jon says:

    Pete: My prayers are with you and your family! Your boys have had a wonderful gift, a great-grandpa who had a positive influence. goodbyes are hard but I think your dad has a good grasp on it, that your grandpa is walking across the stage, receiving his diploma. Never easy. tons of prayers headed your way.

  81. Heidi H. says:

    Prayers for you and your entire family today.

  82. Laura says:

    I’m so incredibly sorry. Similar to your grandfather, my grandfather also died a few years ago from a cervical spine fracture after falling off a ladder on his farm. It was a day like any other day, as he had worked on his farm everyday of his adult life and was still very active (which does make it harder, somehow). My grandmother had passed a few months prior, and it brought us great comfort knowing they were in heaven together and happy. I pray for comfort and peace for you and your entire family today.

  83. Hilary says:

    I am praying for you guys. It is a difficult day, but God is still and always God, and your Grandpa Wilson is so blessed to be with Him.

  84. tanya says:

    Wow, he sounds like a remarkable person! It is such a blessing to have your father’s outlook but also the way that you realize how privileged you are to have been loved, believed in and mentored by your grandfather is such a wonderful thing. Having a person in our lives, that kind of giant, doesn’t happen for everyone. That’s what my great-grandmother was for me and I constantly wonder how I can be in the lives of my children and one day grand children what she was in mine. The best way I can honor her is to do my best to carry on the greatness that she brought to the lives around her, and from the sound of it, your grandfather already saw that in you so much that he kept up with everything you did and enjoyed it so much.
    We are praying for your family.

  85. Mary Chamberlin says:

    What a beautiful way to look at his passing. Your family is in my thoughts.

  86. Greg Frohna says:

    Praying for you and your family Pete.

  87. Frank says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family on your loss. What a testimony and legacy he leaves behind here as he graduates. I am sure yours is not the only life he touched, or only grandchild he mentored.

    Thank you for sharing!

  88. Robyn says:

    My grandma got promoted to heaven earlier this year so reading this made me bawl. I will definitely pray for you and your fam!

  89. Colleen Gudge says:


    It’s hard to grasp but even though we have never met, I feel a connection to you. Through this technology that sometimes is not such a good thing comes a way for people to meet and interact which would be otherwise impossible.
    Today, I wept for you and your family. I understand the heart ache you all are going through.
    We know Grandpa is with Grandma and happily keeping Our Lord’s kingdom beautiful, running errands and doing all the things he so loved. Still when you have been so blessed to have such a wonderful man in your life, it leaves a hugh hole.
    You and your family are in my prayers.

  90. ttm says:

    I’m praying for you and your family, Pete. A difficult day, for sure…

  91. Andrea says:

    So sorry for your loss, prayers for your family.

  92. Jenny says:

    Oh my gosh, praying for you and your family Pete. May y’all feel God’s comfort and love in abundance during this time…

  93. DisneyCyndi says:

    Pastor P I am so sorry. Praying for you and your family.

  94. bryan allain says:

    wow, thanks for sharing Pete. praying for your family today.

  95. robin says:

    prayers for you and your family. What a beautiful picture of him meeting his wife on the other side of the stage.

  96. Tim Thurman says:

    So very, very hard. Praying for strength and grace for your family.

  97. Traci says:

    Wow. What a testimony of faith & love for your grandfather. Somehow I think God will continue to let him read your blog & comments & he will smile…at least I like to think so. I heard a few quotes that have brought me comfort in loss.
    “in God’s arms, in our hearts”. & “Our loss is heaven’s greatest gain”. Thank God, this world of pain & sorrow is NOT our home!! Praying for your family.

  98. I’m so sorry, Pete. Praying for you family. Thank you so much for sharing him with all of us.

  99. Brit says:

    This is a difficult day. I still have both of my grandparents (on the side we are super close with) and I don’t know what will happen when one of them passes. Praying!

    As I was reading through this post and all the comments I was listening to my iphone(on shuffle) and the song “I’ve Got Joy” – by Mary Baker – You shoudl look this song up, perfect for this situation, and How funny of God to play it then.

    Here are some of the lyrics…
    “I’ve got Joy in the midst of a trial, I’ve got Joy in the middle of pain I’ve got joy, joy, sweet joy. Your joy, it moves me forward I will not take steps back I dance upon injustice laugh in the face of lack. I dig a littel deeper now and take my joy, I walk in joy, joy, overcoming joy!”

  100. Missy Davies says:

    Sorry to hear the news and praying for you and your family. I’ve enjoyed the stories about him through the years. Treasure the closeness your shared. My mom uses the graduation analogy too – and it brought tears to my eye reading this and thinking of that day – hopefully way way off in the future. Reflect on the goodness of the past and keep him alive to your children with stories and reflection

  101. Melissa says:

    I lost my grandmother Christmas Eve six years ago. I was sad but also joyful because I knew she was in heaven and with my PaPa. Thankful for the spiritual heritage they left me too. Thankful we can grieve with hope and joy knowing we will see them again. Praying for your family.

  102. Jenn says:

    So sorry Pete. Praying for your family today. So glad you know where your grandfather is going and that you’ve been blessed by such an amazing grandfather in your life.

  103. Makila says:

    I am sorry Pete! Praying for your family.

  104. Kelly G Belford says:

    Very eloquently written, Pete, but I am sorry for you having to say goodbye for now but hope to see him again in heaven when our time comes!

  105. David says:

    Pete, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

  106. Libby says:

    Pete and Brandi,
    Praying your family will find peace during this difficult time. You are so fortunate to have had so many years with your Grandpa. One of my favorite posts was a while back, when you asked everyone to leave a comment for him. So cool that he was open to all of the technology that is available, when so many older people aren’t. Sounds like he knew how to live life! Take care.

  107. Marlen says:

    Prayers for you and your family today and during this time. Not easy to let a grandparent go even knowing that they will be graduating. My Mom-Mom’s graduation day was 5 years ago this October 22 and it just never gets easier. I miss her so much. ((Hugs)) for you and your family.

  108. paulaswift says:

    PS – your example of his work you explained on Sunday hit strongly… that’s one of your stories that will remain with me for a long time.

  109. Christina says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Pete.

  110. Faye Bryant says:

    Tears of sorrow and joy for you and your family. What a legacy. Praying for you all.

  111. diane1230 says:

    Oh, Pete, I am so sorry. Prayers to you and your family.

  112. Angie says:

    Even in the valley, God is good. Praying for you and your family. What an awesome thing for your kids to really know and have a relationship with their great-grandfather. Not many people can say that.

  113. Oh Pete, I’m so sorry. So praying for you, Brandi, your boys and your extended family. I know the pain of losing (all) my grandparents. My encouragement every time is that they will be the ones I hug right after Jesus. Love you and your family. Seriously, let JT and I know if we can do anything.

  114. Cheryl Derrick says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandpa and praying for your family. Your dad seems to be a very wise man. I remember that blog when you asked us to say hi to him since he was reading. In reading this blog everyday, your family feels like family.

  115. Chrissy says:

    Welcome home, Grandpa!

    Pete, you and your family are in my prayers.

  116. Praying for you and all who love him. Big hugs to you sweet pastor…

  117. Emily says:

    keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  118. Sharon O says:

    That is so incredibly sad I will pray for you and your dad and the rest of the family … heaven is waiting.

  119. Kristi says:

    Praying for you and your family!!!!

  120. Dionna says:

    I am so sorry. I lost my grandpa two years ago and it’s still tender.

    I think it’s especially great that your grandpa had a facebook and read your blog. A lot of older people don’t do that.:)

    I do hope that whatever happens, he won’t be in pain.

  121. Kelli B says:

    This really broke my heart. Praying for your family.

  122. Susan Hart says:

    Praying for you and your family. I look forward to meeting him in heaven!

  123. jason says:

    Tough time, sorry for your lose.

    All of my grand parents have passed. My loving nana used to say to me all the time “I’m the best friend you will ever have” I would just smile and not really think about it much then, but I came to realize how right she was. In more ways than I can communicate. Especially through her prayers for me.

    Must be a tremendous comfort to you and your family, to know with 100% positivity your grandpa is in Glory. Hope fulfilled, its an awesome thing to have that confidence through Christ.

    Prayer for comfort and joy.

  124. Dana says:

    What a legacy he leaves with every life he touched. You and your family will be in my prayers! Thank you for sharing your “realness” with us….

  125. gracegab says:

    praying for you and your family at this difficult time… God surround you with His comforting Spirit…

  126. Pete, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know how much your grandfather meant to you! I am praying for you, Brandi and the boys during this difficult time. We love your family!

  127. britt savage says:

    Pete, I’m so sorry to hear that Grandpa Wilson has died. You and your family are in our prayers.

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