May 2, 2012 · 1:00 pm
Life is a series of small moments. Don’t miss them in a rush to focus on the Next Big Thing you think you have to do. (I’m as guilty as anyone. My “to do” list is way too long.)
I’m so glad that a friend shared on Facebook this sweet and sad essay about an elderly woman’s last taxi ride:
I like its lesson:
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware — beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
February 24, 2012 · 3:10 pm
When Clay Felker — founding editor of New York magazine, who also had stints at Esquire and The Village Voice — was diagnosed with his second cancer, doctors said there wasn’t any treatment that would extend his life.
So they suggested that Felker and wife Gail Sheehy seize life: Do something wonderful that you wouldn’t have dared do before.
Now that’s a charge worth pursuing.
Sheehy told me it took them about a year to figure out what to do. They enjoyed a great trip to France — even though he was on a feeding tube. And they found a way for Felker to pursue his passion of developing young talent in magazines, which meant moving from Manhattan to California to work at Berkeley. With lymphoma. (That’s a cancer that begins in immune system cells called lymphocytes.)
“He actually developed a great deal of courage,” Sheehy said.
She traveled back and forth between her job in Manhattan and their new home. The couple experienced a new time of feeling young and in love all over again. And Felker’s lymphoma went away.
“That’s the kind of miracle of it,” said Sheehy.
Felker was able to work for 10 more years.
If you give someone the chance to feel alive and able to do things, they just may be able to do them.
I’m grateful that can happen.
Felker photo: USA Today. Sheehy photo: LA Times
Filed under Being grateful, My freelance writing
Tagged as California, cancer, Clay Felker, editor, end of life, feeding tube, France, Gail Sheehy, gratitude, Health, lymphoma, magazine, marriage, New York, writer