Of The Old And The New

Of The Old And The New

Blog Forward Forty | Judette Coward-Puglisi

June 23, 2015

I’m in NYC this week to celebrate Savannah’s graduation. She’s my niece and we (her mother and I) are mad with excitement that she’ll stay in New York, close to her home, and head out to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in the Fall where she’ll study for a degree in marketing and communication.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will mark two joyful occasions I‘ve celebrated in as many weeks. Last Thursday, I celebrated my birthday with some of the most extraordinary women that have graced my life over the years. I didn’t plan to do anything significant this birthday. It wasn’t a so called “milestone” date and heaven knows there is always something better I could do with money, shall I start with the broken bedroom air-condition, or the four tyres I need ahead of the rainy season.

But since the death of my 23-year old employee last Christmas, I have been thinking about the sanctity of life, the grace period we’re allowed here on earth and I decided, just one week before the party, to screw milestones. The fact that I was alive, thriving and living out some of my dreams was cause enough to celebrate with wild abandonment.

My invitation list included women who have shaped my life over many phases of my life; those who I could call in the middle of he night and cry or laugh as needed; those who celebrated the success of my business; commiserated over the demise of my marriage and those who encouraged me to pursue my “what the F**K are you thinking about dreams”. Of course there were some that I missed because of their travels but I felt their presence nevertheless.

On my birthday evening my “sisters” and I danced like nobody was watching, we shared memories, tossed sparkles, and shimmied in coloured furs and darn, I’ve got the pictures to prove it. There was one moment I looked around and felt incredible emotion because I recognised two important things.

1) That love had brought these women into my life, and their love would continue to see me through

2) That the real trick to growing older and more beautiful is the mindset, the joy and the creativity we bring to our lives and the lives of people we care deeply about. This has to be shared and passed along selflessly.

I think in addition to the envelope I will hand Savannah tomorrow afternoon, these are the things that I will whisper to her after she tosses her academic cap into the air.