The Gifts We Share

Steph, Beth and I motored to Westchester for a week at a friend’s apartment followed by an evening with Marcy and Steve at their place. If I haven’t said it in awhile, we are blessed to have generous, smart, funny and always-interesting friends and family!

After a day in the Bronx, I took a subway into Manhattan and completed another amends for my 12-step program. This one was with another college friend and his wife, two people who didn’t deserve the disappearing act I learned from my father. In today’s parlance, I ghosted this couple when I was struggling with substance abuse, financial “not enoughness” and my move from a job in the construction industry to life as a kid’s musician. It feels good to have said, “I’m sorry” and to have been warmly received.

Our time in the Bronx was extremely rewarding. We worked for 5 days at the New York Institute for Special Education teaching kindergartners through high schoolers about mindfulness. I believe that we made a difference in the lives of these kids, all of whom were legally blind with learning and social-emotional issues. Beth and I felt sad to leave after many hours of dancing, yoga, laughter and heartfelt sharing – but I am sure we will be back.

The head physical education teacher, Carina, said, “We’ve had lots of outside people come in to work with our kids since I’ve been here. But none have been like you, two. You distinguished yourselves immediately by coming here a week before the program to learn about the kids. No one has ever shown that type of commitment. And the staff and the kids all loved you. Thank you so much for being here.”

I was speechless. I knew that we did well and presented the program with our usual professionalism, but I was unprepared for Carina’s response. To learn that we earned the trust of these kids who really longed for what we had to offer was life changing for me. It reminded me that I matter, something I forget when life gets busy.

We’re back in Youngsville, today, getting back to preparing for upcoming songwriting gigs, co-writing a handbook on mindfulness with our friend, Elizabeth, taking meetings at local schools and finishing up some videos from our time in Freeport.

I’m also enjoying the heck out of our last couple of days or weeks with Steph. It’s all good – even if I sometimes wake up feeling like my world has become wobblier. I’m learning how to wobble with it.

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