I’d only been engaged for a few days. Vanessa was home, not doing much as it was the summer and she simply wasn’t feeling good at that point. The next transplant was scheduled, nothing to do but endure until the new kidney hopefully brought new life. 

I was heading to India very soon, but had stopped by randomly – unannounced – just to cheer her. I knew that with Anna away and John on the road, the extrovert in her probably needed a visit. I was right. I think I stayed 2 hours. 
We talked about nothing and everything. She gave me a something to keep my passport in when I traveled abroad (I think I still have it). We talked wedding rings and she recommended that I go with something simple so he could upgrade and add to it later – and showed me all the different ring “jackets” she had accumulated in her many years of happy marriage. I quickly shared this information and strategy with JJ. 
We talked about marriage, since it was at the forefront of my mind. She told me that the most important thing a man can do for his child is love the child’s mother. She told me about a study that gave people the choice of how to use a few extra thousand dollars, be it a family vacation, college education, saving it or a trip just for husband and wife. The professionals said the best use of the money in terms of raising children would be time alone for just husband and wife – that the most beneficial thing you can do for your kids is have a good marriage. 
Just love one another. That was her advice for me about raising kids. 
I hold it closer today than I did 8 years ago. 
 
 
Visit me elsewhere: