We are so fortunate in our roles as school leaders to be able to have a significant impact on the lives of others each and every day. I had an amazing experience over the weekend of September 13th and 14th, 2019. It was the 50th anniversary of my in-laws Patricia and Eugene Grimes. They are wonderful people, and it was a tremendous celebration of their love, family, and journey together.
On Friday night, we enjoyed a scholarship fund raiser at a local VFW in the city of Port Jervis, hosted by performer and entertainer Patrick Dunn. Patrick is a Port Jervis alumnus and 2019 inductee into our Hall of Fame. At the show, Patrick made it very personal and showed extra attention to my in-laws, acknowledging their anniversary, coming over, and presenting my mother-in-law with an Elvis scarf and a big fat kiss on the cheek. They ate it up and loved every minute of it. It was so very kind of Patrick to do that.
On Saturday, my in-laws took in a show in New York City, and we ended the evening by breaking bread at a local Italian restaurant. Both of which were very nice, yet the highlight of our evening was the Catholic Mass at the Church of Holy Cross on 42nd St. and 9th avenue. After some phone conversations the prior two weeks with Father John Collins, my in-laws got to renew their vows in the church at the conclusion of Mass. Father John Collins could not have been kinder or more welcoming to our family. He made it so special for them by acknowledging them in the prayers of the faithful, letting them walk up the aisle to the wedding anthem, and just making it very personal for them. He also allowed their grandchildren to come around the altar to be there for the renewing of vows. He took the time to speak with them, share with them, and we all felt an instant connection with him.
Both Patrick and Father John could have done nothing, or just a little bit, but both of them chose to make the event special by going just a little bit extra with a pinch of love and kindness. They took a moment to pause and think about what they could add to their existing performances, and made it very special for them. It wasn’t a lot of heavy lifting, nor did they break rules, nor did it cost them anything (Thanks for the Elvis scarf Pat!) Their extra effort gave a tremendous and memorable gift to my in-laws and I thank both of them very much!
The point of it all is as educators and school leaders we can make things special for students and staff each and every day. Whether it’s acknowledging a personal achievement, a school recognition or even just a warm friendly hello each morning, we have this opportunity to do so daily. Let’s continue to take advantage of these opportunities to enrich the lives of others around us! #SurviveThrive
Quote: “Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.” – Buddy Valastro