I am so fortunate on so many levels. I love so many people and they in turn love me. With most people, however, you don’t get reminded how they feel about you too often. You go on in life, hoping that you are clear about your intentions and interactions and that people take things as it is intended. Yesterday, I had a near perfect day. I was celebrated by my immediate family and my closest friends, at a surprise party for my 70th birthday. I came home from the golf driving range with my two grandchildren, Jake and Emma, and my son Jon, and on my lawn was so many friends and family. Of course, it was all orchestrated by my wonderful wife, Pat, who always knows just how to make me happy, and spares no effort to do so.
Yesterday was a validation of my great fortune. I try to be positive with everyone I am with. To only give goodness, without judgment, trying not to bring out defensiveness, and never offering advice without being asked.
I try to bring calm within the storm that life brings to us.
So yesterday was my day. Never being the focus in a group, yesterday I couldn’t help it. I got such positive feedback from everyone. My ex-wife, Sharon, came up to me and told me that she really values our friendship after all these years. I felt so good to hear that. Sharon is part of our family, as is her sister, Marjorie, and niece Jackie. Then Pat made a short speech about how I am so supportive to her, every day, and of course that made me feel so good. She spoke about how people sometimes ask her “what would Alan do?” in situations that come up, and that was a total surprise to me. Old friendships, which span almost 70 years were part of this day, and I just basked in the great feeling and familiarity that these long friendships can bring. Then came the videos. One after another, my friends and family made videos telling me how much our relationship meant to them, and I realized that they love me as much as I knew I loved them. My children thanked me for being there for them, and for life lessons that I thought they always resented. The evening was wonderful.
To cap off the evening, we have a ritual that we do when Jon, Lauren, Emma and Jake leave to go home. I always walk them outside to their car no matter what the weather. In the spring and summer, I cut off a small rose from our rose bush, one for Emma and one for Jake, and I kiss them good night. As they are pulling away from the curb, they all open their car windows, Lauren and Jon as well, and yell as they are driving down the block, “I love you Grandpa”! I yell back to them, “I love you guys.” We do this every single time they visit. Then I turn around, choked up, every time, and go into the house with gratitude streaming through my heart. This time along along with the gratitude, tears were streaming down my face. The end of a perfect day.