Sweetie Pie was born with ten fingers, ten toes, and Down syndrome. I've never been one to wallow in the "Life is not fair" pity party, but when she was born I was confused about the unknown: Why did this happen? How do we help? What is her future? What about my daughter?
When Big and Middle (my brothers) started talking about going to see Grandma and Grandad, I was hesitant. I have so many beautiful and fun memories involving my grandfather. I didn't want my last memories of him to be of him in a weakened state.
Like the waltz, their love affair was long. It flowed effortlessly at times. And, like the best love stories, it had continuous turns. The tempo of the waltz is slow and invites very powerful and dynamic movements from all dancers. Just like my grandma and grandpa.
Two days after Christmas, my wife, Lauren, and I did something we never do: We packed up the car during the holidays and hit the road.
I sat down across from him with the glass filled halfway between us, I lowered my head to match his and said, "Robbie! Do you see this glass of water half empty or half full?"
I blame my grandmother on my mother's side. She's the one that started all this. Sure, she's been dead for nearly 50 years but that doesn't get her off-the-hook. She knows what she did -- she's the one that put the curse on this family's creativity.
My first grandchild, Rob, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii (where my children were raised) 26 years ago. My most significant gift, to this day, was giving him his Hebrew name, a name "he will carry all the days of his life."
According to a recent TODAY survey of 1,500 adults, the 60s can be a positive time of life. Of the participants in the study in their 60s, 72 percent said they felt younger than their age. A majority of the respondents said their journey so far was better than they expected. The key factors to happiness after 60 include personal health and adequate finances.
Recently, I took the opportunity to call my two grandmothers to find out what pearls of wisdom I could gather from them on the topic of love, marriage, and relationships. After all, both of my grandmothers were married for over 50 years before their husbands passed away.
I always hated word problems, but when my granddaughter in third grade asked for my help with her homework, I figured how hard could that be? Well, too hard for a pretty smart young lady and her grandmother, I guess.
I do not think anyone should feel ashamed for not feeling the way all the screens tell us we should feel. If you are sad while we are farthest away from the sun, while everyone else seems to be having a holly jolly Christmas, you are not flawed.