Little Victories

First appeared in Caring Bridge

When I was at university in New York, one of my favorite classes was “Introduction to Law”. 

I had a professor who looked and dressed like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”. He had a pompadour hair style that rose centimeters above his head, a voice that sounded like a traffic jam, and an investigative style that used to make me howl with internal laughter. 

How I loved him! 

-How much is an arm worth? he’d yell in his powder blue, 3-piece polyester suit. As he paraded nervously around the classroom in his platform wingtip shoes, he would skim his students’ answers off the top, delighted to tell us how wrong we were. How short we fell. His whiny laughter would rain down on us in torrents. The fools! Oh, the fools we were! 

I guessed that he was a tort lawyer, an ambulance chaser, but in the classroom at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I was a fashion marketing and business student, he was serious about teaching us law. 

He urged us to think about the ‘unthinkable’, because, in Brooklyn in the 80’s, he saw a lot of it. And, then, of course, there was AIDS. Quietly decimating my chosen field. 

I enjoyed thinking about him again today, all of these many years later as we head towards the American feast of Thanksgiving. 

In 2017, I coaxed Yves, my husband, then suffering from a terminal brain cancer, to stand again. To walk again. To take a step again. One more step. 

Lazarus. 

Yves died on April 27, 2018. I got to witness the last steps he took. 

So, what is a step worth?
What is lifting your head worth? What is trying one more time worth? 

My law teacher had a stock answer….When you have to put a number on what is priceless, then, it’s 6 million. It’s at least 6 million. 

Little victories are worth at least 6 million. 

This Thanksgiving, dear friends, count your blessings.
Realize all the love that has been poured into you, and how that love from family, friends, community helps each of us to keep on going. 

Wishing each and every one of you the strength and the hope that a holiday like this one encourages to find within, and once found, to share abundantly with others.

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