Today is Hollye’s birthday. What a difference a year makes.
Last year we were preparing for chemo cocktails, this year the splendid wines of Napa. Last birthday recovering from surgery and having a great dinner with friends and family, with the dread of knowing what was just around a the corner, this year a spectacular lunch with friends the Norfleet’s and Gargiulo’s, and the hopeful anticipation of a peaceful year ahead.
I use a saying “one day at a time.” Never has that phrase had more meaning than in the previous 12 months. One day you are skipping merrily along and the next dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Life stops and demands your attention. Attention to what is really relevant, what matters, like our children.
I’m reading a book “The Council of Dads” by Bruce Feiler. He has bone cancer and speaks in his book of his little children. He talks about his dad as a cheerleader for him, …”his goal was to provide the shoulders on which we would climb into the sky.” Is that not my goal as a parent? A parent whether sick or healthy should be focused on helping our kids thru, lend a hand, or as Bruce says in his book “The higher joy is not the light, it’s the reflection.” Bruce quotes his father once saying “I have three children, all of whom get along well with one another, understand the value of money, and have the work ethic. Everything else is in second place.” I agree with this philosophy.
When I am asked how I am doing, I say, “My kids are healthy and everything else is a bonus!”
So this birthday and holiday season: my family is healthy, everyone gets along, the older boys are following their passions, Finally Five loves kindergarten and everything else is a bonus.
Have safe and healthy holidays and pay attention to what really matters.
As our friend Jeff Gargiulo the fine winemaker says ” The greatest blessing in life is people’s time.”
Over and out. The HOTY
Photography by Hollye Jacobs for The Silver Pen