How To Live


As we get older, sometimes we forget how to be silly, but not my friends Joe and Sheila. On New Year’s Eve last year, our families were out walking in the woods just before midnight and Joe suggested that we all take a turn twirling in the snow until we got dizzy and dropped to the ground. And we did it and it was wonderful.

When I think about Joe’s idea, I think that’s a great life lesson—to remember to be silly once in a while. And then I realized that Joe and Sheila have taught me a lot of great lessons about how to live, like…

Twirl until you get dizzy and fall to the ground.


Hike in the woods at dark and sing at the top of your lungs like you’re on stage.


Laugh until you almost wet your pants.


Host a party and invite 100 of your closest friends and family members.


And sing like a rock star.


Joe was diagnosed with a life threatening disease three years ago but their family chose to live instead of the alternative. They accepted the cards they were dealt and moved on with so much grace.


I’ve had many conversations with Sheila about Joe’s illness and she never complained about the path their lives have taken. In fact, they seemed to have nudged fun and silliness up to the top of their list, in spite of their situation.

My brother Mick’s favorite song was “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann  Womack. Although I love all of the messages in that song, there’s one part that I find especially beautiful and it reminds me of my friends.

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

In part because of Joe and Sheila, I plan to continue dancing, even if I look silly doing it.

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11 thoughts on “How To Live

  1. Rosemary, I bought walking sticks today. Leki, and the first thing my child said was “So you want to go looking like a dork!” I said, “if my hip doesn’t hurt I will do it with pride” Now I think I will dance with them if they work. I love your silliness and I love your spirit. I do not have any qualms about climbing any hill or mountain with you Rosemary.

    I have always like a saying that life is not a destination it is a journey. What a journey we sometimes have to take. You certainly do it with style.

    Have a great day. Love to keep in touch with you so much.

  2. Joe and Sheila vs. Mark and Rosemary………Hmmmmmmm How can you slice it, amazing no matter what slice you get!

    We have loved all of you always, but now you inspire everyone daily! True testaments of Faith!

    Love you guys!

  3. Joe Salisz is a man of great faith. The day he held hands with us and prayed from his heart before my husband’s cancer surgery made us realize we had selected the right doctor. The man has walked the walk and he is a survivor! Best wishes to you Rosemary as you continue your battle with your illness. You are truly an inspiration.

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