You will have many, many chances to make contributions of time or money to different worthy causes. In some special cases, you, too, will have to ask the question, If not me, then who?
-Bob Wright, 2007 commencement speaker at Holy Cross College
Lisa writes: Bob and Suzanne Wright have had their lives transformed in ways that most of us cannot imagine. A decade ago, Bob Wright was vice chairman of General Electric, CEO of NBC/Universal and considered one of the most successful media executives of his time. Yet at the pinnacle of his corporate success his life began to change.
In 2004, Bob and Suzanne Wright were concerned grandparents helping their daughter with their grandson, who had an undiagnosed affliction. By 2005, their family was privately struggling to deal with the specter of autism, something about which they had almost no knowledge. By 2006, the Wrights had brought together autism organizations from around the country into their newly founded Autism Speaks and had plunged into a national awareness campaign. And by 2007, Suzanne had addressed the United Nations and Bob had testified before Congress on the need for research into this developmental disorder. It was a path taken with almost frightening speed and yet the Wrights say that they are never moving fast enough.
The couple have become world leaders in advocating for Autism. They have created a rallying cry for research, care, treatment and national and global focus. In changing their lives the Wrights have forever changed the lives of millions of others. Continue reading →
I get that you think that you never want to have kids. I get that they look like a lot of hard work, and you don’t really like small children. I know that you cannot even imagine being a father. I was nineteen once, I understand. But one day, years from now, I am hoping you will change your mind. So here is the deal. If you change your mind and decide to make me a grandmother, here are the things I promise:
1. I promise to love and respect your partner, to respect the sanctity of your home and your relationship and I promise to keep my mouth shut about both. Continue reading →
Tonight I feel like Cinderella, left behind to clean while her step-sisters attend the ball. My husband and our sixteen year old daughter just departed for the annual Father-Daughter dinner dance – a special date they have kept for nine years in a row. My companions? Certainly not twirling, dress-making mice! I remain at home with our Labradors, a glass of wine, and memories of the night, once upon a time, when Dad and I were dancing at the party.
After I married and had children I became a little jealous of my friends who lived near their parents. In those families, grandparents held the tiny hands of grandchildren as they grew and grew. Fortunately, I learned from my far-away mother how to be close regardless of living sixteen hundred miles apart. She helped me understand long distance love.
Now eighty-five, Mom still travels to see us once or twice a year, refusing to let her slightly weak knee call the shots. Continue reading →
The first time I left my eldest child was to go to a wedding, overnight. The celebration was obligatory and I was a wreck. I was worried beyond all reason that something would happen to my thirteen-month-old baby and truly did not want to abandon him for an hour let alone twenty-four hours. My husband convinced me that I had to learn to leave him and that my father-in-law, my son’s grandfather, would care for him, perhaps not exactly like I would, but my son would be in good hands. When I came home, all I can say, is that both sets of hands, big and small, were covered in chocolate. Continue reading →
I really never dreamed of moving from our current home during the empty nest phase. This decision, I believe, was based on my experience with my own parent’s home. Ironically, while most empty nesters downsize their homes my parents just kept upsizing. The home I grew up in was a four bedroom colonial with two and a half baths on about a half an acre of property. To me, it never felt small, it always felt just right. However, the house aged and instead of going through renovations, my parents decided to buy a new home which was larger and had more property. When this house got to the point of needing renovations they again bought another home that was even larger with yet even more property. Keep in mind they were pretty much empty nesters in the first house and could have easily moved into a smaller more easy-to-manage townhouse where they didn’t have to worry about mowing the lawn, fixing the roof etc.
Each time my parents moved, I felt a sadness leaving behind the memories that my children had made with their grandparents. Continue reading →
Of all the topics I could go on about to a psychiatrist, real estate has never been on my top ten list of neurosis. However, now that I stand at the brink of a major domicile decision, I want to cry out “Is there a doctor in the house? I need to talk about my home!”
The precipice in question is the decision of what to do with our house, the one we bought three months before we had our first child, the one my husband built a picket fence around to keep children in and evil out, the one in which we have grieved and celebrated, together, for more than two decades. Previously overflowing with family energy, it will soon become very quiet once our youngest leaves for college; that day will arrive sooner than I could have possibly imagined when we moved in. Continue reading →