By Joe Scanlon
March isn’t a particularly memorable month. Of course, it’s supposed to blow in like a lion and out like a lamb but I don’t remember any past Marches for the weather.
March is Irish American Heritage Month, a tragically overlooked holiday – probably the revelers haven’t recovered sufficiently from last year’s celebration to properly organize this year’s.
Super Tuesday is in March this year so we are treated to the politician’s blow-harding in like Chinese parade dragons and blowing out like punctured balloons. Overall, a good reason to cancel March altogether.
However, March has an anniversary that will forever make it the most important month of the year to me.
Happiness is a rare commodity. Contentment is rarer still. Loyalty and self-sacrifice, caring more for your family and loved ones than you do for yourself are qualities that seem to be going out of style in these tough times. When you happen upon a person who exemplifies these values it is cause for celebration.
My best friend and the person I admire most in the world was born in March. It is the middle of tax season and she is managing partner of a busy accounting firm in Pawley’s Island. From January to April, she is up at 4 a.m., and dressed and out the door by 5 a.m, looking like an ad out of Vogue Magazine.
Much of her clientele reads like a “Who’s Who” of Lowcountry business, but she still makes time to do income tax returns, with the same attention as she does for millionaires, for people who can barely afford to pay her – or can’t pay at all. She takes time with her staff and goes out of her way to see to it they have security and benefits in their jobs.
She raised two fine daughters as a single mom, while putting herself through the rigorous accounting program at CCU, and in a few short years went from a staff accountant to owning, with her partner, a prestigious accounting firm.
Her grandchildren wouldn’t know anything about this because “MeMa’s house” has to be overseen by someone who doesn’t have anything else to do but think about what would be fun and inspirational for little children. She also single handedly cares for her elderly mother, ensuring she will be able to stay in her own home as long as possible, and does this without missing a beat from keeping the most beautiful home imaginable.
Reading this over, it reads too good to be true, but that is why I’m chronicling it because it is true. And as long as people like Joan Hodges live lives like hers there is reason to be optimistic about the fate of the human race.
Happy Birthday, Joan
(Joe Scanlon is the director of the Counseling Center of Georgetown).