Small Success: 8 Days a Week


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This was an epic week. On last Thursday alone of last week, the following things all happened.

My daughter was scheduled to read at the Mass and graduate from 8th grade at 7 in the evening.

The two of us got our nails done.

I’d scheduled two physicals and even remembered the paperwork for the five-year-old so she can attend kindergarten.

We also discovered I need to get blood work done for a kid who didn’t have a physical but because of his Downs, may have stopped growing.

That same 8th daughter needed a replacement retainer which will run $500.

When we went to pick up kids from school, we saw a terrible accident. Someone’s son died. We saw the aftermath. It haunted me all day.

My favorite professor from college also died. The pain of losing her echoed all day too.

The car I was driving started smoking and we had to pull over to a mechanic’s while en route to graduation. That car will require over $1,000 to fix.

A total stranger saw us at the mechanic shop dressed for graduation and paid for an Uber ride for us to get to graduation even though we didn’t ask and tried to refuse.

While at Mass, it occurred to me that this class of students was the class born during the year of September 11th, and they represented both hope and the reality of a whole generation who never knew the before, and do not understand the after. My phone stopped working, there was not enough memory so I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. 

I saw an old friend (former principal).

The three sons who can speak, each on separate occasions, said “I love you.”

The rosemary plants we ordered finally came.

There were three foxes in our neighborhood.

Before that, there were five bunnies.

My high schooler announced that she wants a graduation party.

At the end of the day, my college age daughter offered us her whole first paycheck to help with the car repair.

Nothing I put on my list of things to do got done. Two deaths and a graduation in one day left talking over all the expenses of the day, all that happened, the passage of time, the accomplishments, the awards, the pain, the frustration and vexations of ordinary life, seem pretty trivial by comparison. I felt overwhelmed and like I couldn’t take joy in the day owing to the losses of the day until my husband put on the Ipod and asked me to dance. I didn’t want to at first, but he knows me. We danced to “8 Days a Week” and somehow, it was a moment of great grace.

We finished the evening with our 8th grade graduate, feasting on fresh strawberries and ice cream while we watched A Knight’s Tale.

Small successes often involve not just getting through sufferings and trials, but deliberately stopping to recognize little joys amidst them. We prayed for the souls of the day, and for their families. For a moment, I could hold onto the hard truth: all is grace, it’s just how we respond that determines if we avail ourselves of the grace in that moment or not.

Hope you have a great week filled with small successes and abundant grace.

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Copyright 2016 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. Small successes often involve not just getting through sufferings and trials, but deliberately stopping to recognize little joys amidst them.

    I love this line! Yes, yes and Yes. Life is messy, wild and wonderful.

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