A few weeks ago, Robin Jovanovich announced that she planned to step down as owner and publisher of our town’s newspaper and lean into her roles of spouse, grandmother, and keen observer of the world. Reading her rationale for this leave-taking I felt both sadness and admiration. `
Sadness because not only will Rye miss her at the helm, enthusiastically attending and reporting on the details, triumphs, and tribulations of our days, but also because her announcement is a reminder that time flies, nothing lasts forever – that nothing gold can stay. At the same time, I find her decision inspiring because it takes a whole lot of grace, humility, and courage to step back from something you love for someone you love, to put on a brave face and, despite the perils in aging to see the upside, to hope for good things ahead, and to believe that maybe the best really is yet to be.
Robin’s decision reflects the bittersweet trajectory we all share. We’ve all had or will have to say goodbye to colleagues, classmates, teammates, friends, and family. It’s never easy.
When my nephew Teddy recently learned that his “Stepping Up” ceremony meant that he would not be returning to pre-K next year, he cried. He is not ready to leave.
I empathize with him. It’s hard to leave a time and a place you love. And he has every reason to cry. It goes too fast. But little does he know the excitement and wonder of Kindergarten’s lessons. (Some say they’re all we ever need.)
Driving through Rye these days, sixteen years after moving from the city and raising our four kids here, I often find myself doing a double take: <“Is that Will Tepedino walking home from practice? No, wait, he graduated from college last year.”>
I see new neighbors pushing strollers, carting kids off to youth soccer, lacrosse, and baseball games. I remember laughing at how those Little League games moved like molasses, whispering in the stands for someone to please institute a mercy rule. Someone must have misinterpreted my plea and pressed fast forward. It was getting dark, I had no idea what was for dinner, I just wanted <that> game to end – not all of them.
Paging through The Rye Record, I see kids grasping banners in the baseball parade, shooting foul shots, hitting forehands, receiving scholastic and arts award, playing in the park. They all look a little familiar but slightly different.
Robin and her staff have assiduously chronicled the life and times of our children, our families, and our town for twenty-five years, reporting on an endless cycle of City Council meetings and School Board elections, school fundraisers and fairs, jubilant wins and heartbreaking losses, graduations and anniversaries, births, marriages, and finally, obituaries – where we learned how residents of all ages rode the waves and discovered what and how much they loved – and were loved.
It’s been a privilege and a joy to participate in this celebration as a reader, writer, and observer of all the news Robin has seen fit to print. And while I am sad to see her relinquish her post and know we will all miss her thoughtful insights, wry wit, delight in and dedication to our town, I am excited for her next chapter.
Robin has outlined that she intends to spend more time with her husband and grandchildren. She emailed the other day from a Boston-bound train with her granddaughter. What a beautiful image: grandmother and granddaughter hurtling through time and space together, taking in the swiftly passing landscape, Connecticut’s green fields, Rhode Island’s rocky coast, the tall ships of Boston harbor. What more can we do than offer a note of heartfelt gratitude, wish them Godspeed on their journey and hope we all get to travel so far with those we love.