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Sunrise, Sunset

The beauty of the sunrise never fails to inspire me, and the lingering afterglow of the sunset is my “happy hour.” As I stood on the windy beach last night talking with my sister, I was bathed in the afterglow of nature’s power that I so relish. But my emotions were jumbled.

My 92-year-old mother was at home where she wanted to be and was “ready to go,” as she told my sister. She’s had an amazing, healthy life until these past six months. My mother, as was my father, is of the old school—the school taught by the Depression and the Second World War.

The question: How do you say thank you for your life? Both literally and for the person you became. For me, actions always speak louder than words, and my mother was an action hero to me. She wouldn’t describe herself in heroic terms—far from it. She was just doing what was best for her family for a lifetime. Selflessness is what my mother was all about. Nothing meant more to her than my father and her children and grandchildren. Things never mattered to her. The material things were just that, soulless and inanimate. As I told her many times, the only way I can repay her is to try to do what she did for us and for my own children, both simple and difficult. She lived for us, and now we have to figure out how to live without her.

For me, the sunrise is the birth of the day, and one reason to get up early is to experience it. Birth is a mystical experience. Our children are in fact our only touch with immortality. Like the sunrise, birth is filled with hope and energy. Last week, Jonathan Lawson, our advertising coordinator, and his wife, Angeliina, brought a boy, David Alexander, into the world. As I talked with Jonathan about the experience, he tried to describe his feeling but finally just said it is nothing like anything else. As I listened to him trying to verbalize the sunrise of birth, I flashed back to my children’s births and what a tsunami of emotions those days were for me. When they brought David into the office, it was a wow moment, the perfect beauty of a newborn and Jonathan and Angeliina radiating love and wonder. As Jonathan said almost incredulously, “We did this.” The birth gave me perspective and renewal as the sunrise does each morning. IM

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