Now that we are in the dog days of summer, right in the middle of the oppressive August humidity and just before school starts, I can reflect on June! Why June? The month of June means many things for a lot of people. For most, it signals the end of the school season and the official start of summer. For me, it’s certainly those, plus just a bit more. For us dads, we know June includes Father’s Day. For the Paff family, it also includes my birthday and my son Taylor’s birthday. June is also the month during which we take our annual trip to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Isle of Palms is just outside of Charleston, one of my favorite cities in the world; great dining, great people, a ton of history, and beaches nearby!
But June 2012 had some even more special, if not somber moments. That same son, Taylor, who turned 26 on June 22, moved to St. Croix just five days later, the day before my 52nd birthday. My son Carter graduated from Boys’ Latin on June 2. And the most somber day of the month, June 25, marked the first anniversary of my brother Bill’s death from cancer at age 54. June was a reflective month! A time to remember all those childhood moments – the boys’, mine and my brother’s. When did Taylor grow up to be able to move to such a remote and foreign (albeit tropical) paradise? When did Carter turn into this brash, young, high school graduate contemplating his college career? And how and why did my brother pass at such a tender age, never to see his two children grow old or his granddaughter graduate from preschool, high school or get married.
June was also the first full month I celebrated – yes, celebrated – my independence as a newly divorced dad, contemplating my own future and contribution to my children, community and the world. Feeling shot out of a cannon, bursting at the seams with much to write and say, and with the loving support of family and friends (even some ex-in-laws), I have much to do! You see, when we reflect, in the privacy of our home or the sanctuary of our favorite house of worship, we are able to see the forest through the trees, the meaning in life’s simple pleasures, and the true reasons why we are here.
Reflect and embrace, my friends. Calamity, adversity and misfortune happen to all of us; pain does not discriminate based on socioeconomic status or religious affiliation, and unfortunately, it knows no boundaries. For those who choose to open themselves up to new possibilities and opportunities, the world is an endless source of intrigue. Think about where you are, where you want to be, and whom you want to be with. Then reflect and determine how you’ll get there!
To Your Success!