“Everyday can be the best day ever.” -Jack Bartosz

In the midst of the holiday rush, peace and solitude can be hard to find. It seems that there are a million little things on a list that keeps growing. The days seem to blow by in a hastened blur as we frantically check things off.

In recent years, I have felt the weight of this season even more so as I adjust to the “new normal” of my life … a life without Jack and John. While I have trusted people by my side, it sometimes feels like frenzy overtakes the calm and I find myself in the midst of endless noise, longing to establish some semblance of peace.

This past Monday, as I sat in my office and busily checked things off my holiday crunch-time list, the wisdom of my sweet Jack flooded my soul and reminded me what is truly important. In a moment I was transported back to a family Christmas, Jack’s last Christmas in 2011. Our entire family was crowded around the dining room table, taking advantage of every available square inch.

It was a time of great happiness, of just being together, and enjoying each other’s company as we played a game that Annie and Jack had made at school as their Christmas gift to our family. The object of the game, called Conversation Stones, was simple, provide an answer to the thought on the stone. The result of this simplicity was a precious time of laughing, talking, and remembering the things that were really important.

“Describe your best day ever.” This was the statement on the stone Jack drew from the pile. As the rules stated, the person who read the stone would be the last to answer. We went around the table and each provided details of our very best day … a day at the spa, golfing at Augusta National, a day at the beach, a day in Paris … as each answer was given, there was emphatic agreement that this was an amazing assortment of very good days. In fact, if they were strung together over the course of a couple weeks, it could be the makings of a dream vacation.

And then it was Jack’s turn. “People…” he said, and the room fell silent. “I’ll tell you my very best day.” He commanded our attention, and the room. “Every day that I am not in the hospital is the best day ever … and EVERY DAY can be the best day ever if we just believe it can be.”

Those words, from a boy who was wise beyond his 10 years, pierced the hearts of everyone in the room. They gave us pause for thought as we reconsidered what truly mattered. Jack taught me a lesson that day … a simple, yet profound reminder to make the most of every moment I am given.

My hope for you this holiday season is an overabundance of the “BEST DAY EVER.” That you celebrate each day for the colorful, conversational, gem of a gift that it is and set your focus on that which matters the most.