It’s 6:30 AM when the alarm goes off. Marsha rolls out of bed, giving John a shove as she heads for the bathroom. The house is quiet, because the last of the kids have moved out, but is not without excitement. John lays out Marsha’s outfit, just as he’s done for almost 30 years. She brings him a cup of coffee while he shaves. Their relationship is stronger than ever because they never stopped putting each other first.
At breakfast, Marsha’s cell phone rings. It’s Annie. She starts her first real job today at a law firm on the coast and she needs Mom’s voice. “You’ll be fine,” Marsha says, “just remember to do your best for the clients and enjoy today. This is your only-est first day.” She knows Annie is smiling through the phone, because “only-est” is their special word.
John works at an architectural firm downtown where he directs several projects for different clients. His team is vital to the company’s success, and they are the best. They put themselves into the work and serve John because he serves them. He puts them first, and they know it. Most of his clients are past clients now, although they bring their friends with new business. John meets with these clients and then hands them off to Frank, because he knows that Frank will put their dreams first, too. When Frank won an award last year, John gave the introduction speech, in which he said that Frank was honest, competent, and caring, which was the highest praise he could think of.