My son Emmett is 3. His best friend, also 3, is a boy up the street named Andrew Cohen.
Andrew is a sweet kid. Quiet, funny, occassionally goofy. Emmett lights up when he sees him, which, in turn, makes my wife and I light up. There’s a true value is having your children surrounded by nice kids. And Andrew is, in every possible sense of the word, a genuinely nice kid.
A few weeks ago, to the shock and dismay of the neighborhood, Andrew was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that starts in certain types of nerve cells. This particular form of cancer occurs in infants and young children. It is, to be mild, an absolute beast of a disease, and the news hit all of us like a Tyson hook to the gut. We are still staggered (If you need a reminder, here it is: Love your kids. Appreciate your kids. If the choice is between playing outside with your kids or playing 18 holes—play with your kids. Seriously. Life is short and fleeting and mysterious).
I digress. This Sunday—Father’s Day—my family is hosting a virtual and reality lemonade stand to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a nonprofit that helps raise money for pediatric cancer research. We’re doing so in honor of our friend Andrew, as well as his parents and two older brothers. Their fight is our fight.
I’ll be standing in front of my house with the wife and kids peddling lemonade from 11 am to 3 pm, but since very few readers of this blog probably reside in my hood, I ask that you consider making a donation to Alex’s on Andrew Cohen’s very worthy behalf (If you do want tp stop by and taste the Country Time goodness, drop me an e-mail and I’ll let you know where we’ll be. We live in Westchester County, N.Y.).
Again, life is beautiful. And unpredictable. One never knows what will come. So, if nothing else, slow down. Absorb it. Appreciate it.