Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Our family stopped by Suntrust on the way to the garden for lunch. There, I ran into a friend who offered a pledge and her time to assist during dad’s testing the waters. But when I returned to the car, I had a voice mail from dad. When I called him back, he told me that, due to legal reasons, he was going halt testing the waters, and continue as chairman of American Solutions. Again, I let him know that I would support him.

Saturday evening, Jimmy and I greeted over 400 guests as they arrived for the ball. Once the guests were seated, Jimmy delivered the opening remarks, reminding us why we were all there; not only to have fun and contribute to a very worthy cause, but to honor his grandfather, Philip Alston, Jr, who had helped start the Gardens 26 years ago.

Jimmy recalled the two adages that his grandfather lived by, “nothing is impossible,” and “no man is an island.” They guided his grandfather’s life and helped create the legacy of the Garden.

“Nothing is impossible,” when we work together, we can accomplish what appear to be miracles. Only through listening and including others can we really begin to work together.

No man is an island. As much as we may try to get everything done by ourselves, our own way, it simply is not possible. We have to include and inspire others to get things accomplished with their help. We need to listen when we do not want to, especially when people do not agree with us, learning in the process and helping one another to move forward together.

Saturday night ended as I had hoped it would nearly a year before, when we had agreed to be involved. The band played for hours, with my sister, Kathy, and I dancing to our favorite songs, and at the end of the night, Jimmy and I walked out of the door hand in hand and returned home to our children, closer for having worked together on this event.

And what I remember from this day is, “nothing is impossible” and “no man is an island.”

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.