Some months seem more special than others. Take December: Christmas, my birthday, and my children coming home for the holidays. Then there’s February: Ground Hog Prom, Valentine’s Day, and the birthdays of three of my sibs.
But April. April wins my heart. April imbues me with appreciation.
April is the birth month of many amazing beings in my life. Koledon who can cook or sew or grow practically anything, Roger who is fast feeling like a brother, Hannah in Atlanta with her ever ready smile. Add to them Caroline, Mo, and so many more that I adore.
Some of the great April children I cherish I never knew in their lifetime. There is Marvin who raised five sons into five fine men after the death of their mother. And Tracy, a beloved teacher and actress whose joyful spirit still travels with others I love.
April births that have blessed me started with my mother in 1924 on the 24th day of April. She would have turned 95 this week; this year marks the 10th year of her death. Sally Koenig was both nothing and everything I wanted to be. I did not want to be the mother of 8 children. I did not want to be trapped in the second shift of paltry paying job due to an eighth grade education. I did not want to be mired in poverty and alcoholism. I did want to be all that she was—loving, forgiving and eternally grateful.
April also brought me Angela. Born on Shakespeare’s birthday, we met when she was a second year law student. I’ve gone from being her mentor to being amazed at how she manages and leads our ever growing law firm. She astonished me another April day when she gave birth to her daughter Anna on my mother’s 80th birthday.
At the end of April I celebrate my Melodee. In 1978 I answered her Boston newspaper ad for a roommate at her “light and airy and full of charm” third floor walkup. We were friends the instant I saw her Ms. Magazine on her coffee table. “Happy 25th Birthday” in construction paper letters taped to string across our living room was my law student budget celebration of her that first year. Throughout 40 more Aprils we’ve seen each other through divorces, deaths, and a dozen other major life events.
Each April I revel in the amigas, the associates, and the allies who inspire me. As I celebrate them, I am reminded of the power of people to inspire. My amazing April peeps will keep me wanting to be better and do better from spring until winter.
Happy Birthday to each of you.
What do you appreciate most about the people in your life?
Who inspires you this spring?
How might you inspire someone today?