Herald and Journal Herald & Journal, July 3, 2000

Taking life for granted lately?


Sometimes wisdom smacks you right between the eyes when you are not looking.

That happened to me when I interviewed Dorothy (Duff) Novak, retired deputy clerk at the Howard Lake City Hall Wednesday.

We both thought this would be an interview that went, "I worked at city hall for more than 11 years, and now I'm not." End of interview.

It didn't even begin to go that way. Dorothy shared things I won't print about her life and some of the hard times she experienced.

Don't take things for granted. We all hear that. In one ear and out the other, it goes.

But, like Dorothy said, you never know when something is going to happen. She referred to the loss of her oldest son, Rian, last year.

The picture on the front page of this issue is one she had taken with the flowers Rian sent her for Mother's Day last year.

She was so thrilled with them, she wanted to share a picture of them with Rian.

This Mother's Day, she brought out the last card and this picture to place with all the other cards she got.

"He will always be with me," she said.

This made me think of how selfish I can be, taking for granted that my children will be there year after year.

Have I taken the time to visit them, or do I expect them to visit me all the time? Am I so much busier than they are, or am I lazy.

Well, we know the answer to all those questions.

Dorothy, a breast cancer survivor, is a woman who takes time to visit with local women who have had also had breast cancer. She takes time to share with others.

Sounds like something we all should have learned in kindergarten.

She also visits with women who have lost husbands, recently. Dorothy has lost two husbands and a son.

She does none of this with a "look at me, look what I've done" attitude.

Motivation for this woman comes from within.

In spite of her quiet manner, you know you are in the presence of strength and love for others.

No one in this life is perfect in any way, but our faults make us human. We all share that.

Would that we could share a little of the good things each of us has to offer.

Dorothy seems to do that. She shared with me, and I am richer for it.

I think I'll visit my kids this weekend.

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