What I Did On My Christmas Vacation...

Thanks to our clients, friends and readers over the past few, grueling days. Although the auto-pilot posts still appeared on schedule, I've been out of the office since December 22nd. A few days previous, I wrote a post about preparing for the unexpected. I didn't think we'd get the punctuation mark on that sentence, but we sure did.

My wife, who's 34, experienced severe chest pains three days before Christmas. She happens to work next door to a great doctor who spotted the signs of a heart attack. Routine tests led to a panic in the exam lab, followed by an emergency triple bypass to correct a lurking heart defect that would never have shown up on any standard physical. And since then, it's been a whirlwind of hospital rooms, Intensive Care, 3am coffee shop runs and two forty-hour stretches with no sleep. (I kept a weblog for friends and family, so you can see what we've all been enduring.)

Lori's coming home from the hospital tomorrow, and her wonderful sister arrives from Philadelphia to help me take care of her for the next week. I'm "back in the office" but only about 50% for the next few days, so posting will still be light. Unfortunately, I have to cancel my "open phones" call tonight, but I will reschedule it soon. If yours is one of the 900 e-mails in my inbox, you'll hear from me before Regis drops the ball this weekend, and I thank you for your patience.

In the face of this personal brush with disaster and in light of the graphic example of human frailty we're witnessing in Asia right now, I urge you to use the rest of this year to mend fences, connect with those you've lost touch with, and choose to spend your time doing things you love. Life IS your wake up call. So go live it.