YOU are the Special Prize.

I just had to finish this before I went to bed. Yesterday morning, I asked my Facebook contacts to wish my Dad, a happy birthday.

I promised that each friend who mentioned my Dad’s obvious likeness to Cary Grant, would win a “special prize.”

So, here’s the thing. As I walked through a most difficult work day, I periodically checked Facebook. I was so moved by the scores of kind individuals who honored my Dad with their well wishes. YOU invested.

Before I even saw the overwhelming response, I knew what my special prize would be for you.

It’s YOU.

YOU are the prize. YOU are a gift to me and now, my Dad.

Look in the mirror and say, “Thank YOU,” for being so awesome.

Please, bear with me and this abundant list. I am going to name each person who honored my Dad, and include a special memory, quote, musing, or something esoteric that lets you know that while you invested in my Dad, I have been and am invested in and appreciate you. We may not see each other often, or perhaps we haven’t seen each other in years. No matter, you’ve made an impact and guess what? YOU are a gift to me, my Dad and to the world. Thank you for your kindness.

  1. Layenie Grace: You are ASPIC-tacular. You always have been and you always will be. I love you.
  2. Bob Perkins: “Early dawn was the time
    She would pay for her crime
    Or would Lancelot reappear
    Come and rescue Guenevere?”
  3. Jennifer Waldman: There was that moment at Dollop when I realized we had so much more in common than I ever knew when you served as an intern. I was incredibly touched when you sought out my guidance. Thank you, but you and Julie Andrews appear to be making it beautifully on your own.
  4. Sarah Mignola: I cherished coming to your house after class at Ruth Page. Your Mom always gave me icy cold Cran-apple juice. I remember your mom so vividly. I’m sending you love, support and a promise that after this many years, you and she are remembered fondly.
  5. Chuck Simpson: You and that horn. WOW. I know for certain that I, along with my parents, will never forget that stunning piece you recorded for their wedding anniversary. I also love how we can be so different politically and still discuss all issues with respect and civility. Yay for us!
  6. Gary Witz: I remember how much you always loved to cook. It really seemed to tap into your creativity and brought you great joy! I still enjoy seeing your photos of your edible masterpieces!
  7. Beth Farber: A few things – While I remember you, Shari and your mom and dad so well, your dedication to Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and specifically, “Basket Bash,” makes me feel like we are kindred spirits.
  8. Melissa Barclay: When I close my eyes, I can still hear your singing voice in my head. The last time I heard it live, we were teenagers. Wow.
  9. Nancy Blackmon: Your beautiful red hair. I mean, obviously, I remember more than your red hair. You were much taller than me and I so wanted to be your height. I am still waiting to get to your height.
  10. Marlene Welch: From Hewitt to BW. You remind me that lives intersect in multiple places for a very sound reason. Also, you’re gorgeous. I mean, come on!
  11. Joe Pulio: Laura’s adorable brother. I’m sure you had an enormous crush on me. I mean, I certainly thought so. Clearly, I was wrong. 🙂 I so love bonding on parenting teenagers with you. I am ever reminded that we are not alone.
  12. Toni Werner: Fries, chocolate cake, immediate love and ORT ORT ORT.
  13. Kristen Lewis: You, my love, have your very own level. We’ve never been able to accurately explain it, and it really doesn’t matter. We are just us, forever.
  14. Paul Zimmermann: Leather. Dream. Ricki Lee Jones and “Company.” Your voice. My goodness, that voice.
  15. Allan Keller: Arguably one of my very favorite friends of my brother, Phil. Don’t tell the others. Also, cute freckles.
  16. Karen Daly: Whenever I bump into you, it feels like a holiday. You have one of the most infectious smiles of anyone I know. Also, that freakin’ dog. OMG.
  17. Julie Perlman Benjoya: Wow. So much history. From skating, to me babysitting for you and eating all the snacks in your house. Now, Lexi and a whole new conversation. I wish you lived closer. We’d be close mates for sure. Also, you remind me that marriage the second time around can be absolutely beautiful.
  18. Dave Gordon: Kindness and talent. Great father, devoted husband and one hell of a Sheriff Bob.
  19. Jill Bernstein Zimbler: We’ve known each other forever. I loved your vintage apartment and your mom. We connected again when we were in our early 20’s. You put green contact lenses in my eyes. I looked like the “Man from Atlantis.” I haven’t worn contact lenses since. I also love watching you raise your beautiful daughter and on the ice, no less!
  20. Tracy Feldman Ryan: Just a few doors south from Frankie Epstein’s house. Adorable, smart and with one hell of a mother.
  21. Robin Lewis Meyers: The trials and tribulations of INCIID. A sisterhood that none of us will forget. We have teenagers to remind us, in case we forget.
  22. Dave Bloom: My blondest friend. We talked adoption. Your parents, so wonderful. And what an honor to watch such a nice kid evolve into such a phenomenal man!
  23. Jennifer Taylor: CSG. Moments of major life discussion. I felt we didn’t have enough time when you moved west as I temporarily forgot that visiting is always an option.
  24. Laura Schecker: One of my touchstones and a key figure in my chosen army of women. Last night had me rethinking our relationship. NOT! XO
  25. Beverly Bloom: Mishpaca!
  26. Lily Horowitz: You inspire me. I love how we have walked in and out of each other’s lives, but really, we are SO IN. I have to stop watching you do pilates and just do pilates.
  27. Shari Greenberger Baker: “Blue eyes. Baby’s got blue eyes.” Ice skating, crushed on Steve while I still had braces on my teeth. It has been an honor to bear witness to your strength.
  28. Susan Mathein: My beautiful, talented friend who was absolutely stunning as a pregnant woman while I looked like Karl Malden on a bad day. Also, crab party.
  29. Jennifer Schmucker: Soul sister. Gorgeous. ODAAT.
  30. Barb Statland: Impeccable timing, the cause of many guffaws and spit takes. Our podcast is in the queue. One hell of a talented fundraiser. No one is better on the phone than you are. No one.
  31. Wanda McDaniel: Some speakers inspire me more than others, but none more than you. I loved bumping into you at Disney.
  32. Mardi Johnson Moore: Yum. Scooter’s. A friend. Your business helped me through my entire pregnancy with Juliette. (Part of the reason I looked like Karl Malden on a bad day.) You’ve watched both of my kids grow up, usually with sprinkles.
  33. Frank Epstein: First friend, forever friend. cutest little boy, ever. Mom had to walk me across Cleveland Ave. to get to your house a few doors down. Think-y. Music lover. Steak, lobster tail, broccoli and cheesecake. An abundance of gratitude. Always, “Frankie,” really.

So thank YOU for being a gift. Thank YOU for investing in my Dad. Thank YOU for investing in me. YOU made a forever impression to add to your already forever impression.

YOU are the special prize.




Author: PKW

Writer, Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer, Fundraiser, Strategist, Listener, and Lover of Humans. My love for humans and relationship building are a part of every single thing I do, except for maybe using the bathroom.

2 thoughts on “YOU are the Special Prize.”

  1. You are one really special woman! When I say “special”, it is reserved for the very few that have entered my life and was coveted with my unconditional love, whether friend or family.

    You carry a light that illuminates everyone around you and just the trail of light has been therapeutic to me.

    I can’t imagine how special your dad feels to have seen you sprout into someone so beautiful who has prevailed … against all odds! Fuck my superstition just this one time!

    It is all those people that posted on your Facebook that are the winners for also having some connection to you!


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