Tuesday, January 5, 2016


It's been a day of heroes.

My dad is one of the most important people in my life. And today is his birthday. He didn't want to put anyone out with his "birthday being so close after the holidays" and all. I reminded him that it will always be that way, and that every birthday deserves to be celebrated. He insists that next year, when he turns 80, we will have a party. So this year, my sister and I took him for dinner, and simply, quietly, enjoyed his company.

It's a little tough having a super achiever for a dad. He is the gold standard by which I measure(d) all men. He's tall in stature and his love is even bigger. And on this day, his birthday, I celebrate the first hero I ever had.

And speaking of heroes, today I spoke to James Orbinski - one of a handful of personal heroes who truly inspire me. I was deeply moved by his book, An Imperfect Offering, and was inspired by his story depicted in the documentary Triage. He is a world class humanitarian, and better yet, he is Canadian. When we were looking for a keynote for a conference I am planning for work, I jumped at the opportunity to invite him to address our audience. He asked for someone to call him to discuss, and I won't lie, I could barely dial the number. And for a fleeting second I worried that he wouldn't be all that I envisioned. My worries were in vain. He was kind, humble, and engaging. And I was a babbling idiot. I called him the Forrest Gump of Canada and before he could contain that giggle, I blurted out that I couldn't me more excited if I were talking to Bruce Springsteen. Egads. It was an out of body experience and after hanging up the phone, I had to pinch myself. I should have slapped myself! 

So today I celebrate my heroes and count my lucky stars that I have positive, profoundly inspiring forces in my life. And for that, I am truly grateful.

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