This morning the sun peered through the trees, seemingly directly east of us, as it began the day’s ascent. The snow is melting, enough for me to see over most of the banks in the parking lots; swaths of grass are visible in the front yard. I sense spring is coming.

This day is comfortably routine. Not traveling, I was up to see the kids off to school, burned 450 calories on the elliptical, ate oatmeal with blueberries and brown sugar, stopped at Starbucks for coffee on the way to the office. Small, yet important, markers that provide equilibrium and are often overlooked sources of gratitude.

58 years ago today, 2,900 miles from here, I was born. While I don’t get sentimental about birthdays, I am conscious that this milestone should not be considered routine. I’ve lived long enough to have some sense of history, of life, and of death. And I have a visceral sense that my own horizon is out there, not yet within view — but it never is, is it?

Grateful for my years and the expansive life they’ve brought, I ponder the niggling questions that have been visiting me during the quiet moments: am I fulfilling my purpose, doing what inspires me, leaving the world a bit better? Will I, when that horizon arrives, look back with few regrets, knowing I have done all I could reasonably have hoped to do?

Send to Kindle

At 17

Andrea at 17My, do the years go by quickly.

17 years ago, shortly after midnight, Andrea came into the world. She arrived late and in a rush, her official clock kick-started by a surgical team.

I remember Lori draped in the blue dressings of the operating room and the anesthesiologist positioning me at the head of the table.

“You see all these people?” he asked, pointing to the gathering crowd of doctors and nurses.

I nodded, nonplussed by the sudden move from the quiet delivery suite to the bustling operating room.

“Not one of them is here to take care of you if you pass out.”

His words struck the nerve of the dilemma racing through my mind. Ever squeamish around needles and blood, I simply could not allow myself to pass out and miss the birth of my daughter — or son, as we had chosen not to know whether this child would be boy or girl.

I didn’t pass out, the medical concern surrounding Andrea’s birth proved unfounded, and we’ve now shared 17 largely wonderful years graced by her presence and embrace of life.

Within the last few years, we’ve also shared some unexpected, scary times. Ironically, she seems to have faced and transcended the challenges better than her parents, teaching and inspiring us to accept life as it comes and to be grateful for each day’s dawn. Make each day sufficient.

Happy 17th birthday, Andrea.

As you enter adulthood, may you chase your dreams to fulfillment and may your journey be blessed.

Send to Kindle