Incredible Journey

I’ve been absent for a while in my travelogue. I try to lead a dramatic life, but sometimes events let you know that drama is created by a far greater power.

We were on the ferry from Naples to Capri last Saturday afternoon. About 20 people relaxed on the 200-person craft, and the Mediterranean was a tad too rough to allow me to read during the 40-minute trip. Randomly, I pulled my IPhone from my pocket to see if it would work.

It did, and there was a message from my daughter. It had been sent at 7:30 am New York time. I knew it couldn’t be good.

My parents, who live independently, are in the 80s and 90s. Maria’s mother has Alzheimer’s, is in her early 90s, and resides in an assisted living facility. Danielle is expecting twins in December.

I didn’t tell my wife, sitting next to me, and returned the call. Danielle answered, and informed me we were grandparents to twin girls born at 27.5 weeks. I told my wife, though I didn’t have to, as she looked at my face, and we just stared at each other, speechless, in the middle of the sea. Before we knew it, we docked in Capri.

After a frightening ride at speed up a twisting, narrow mountain road, we arrived at the Caesar Augustus, high atop Ana Capri. We were shown to our room and I made a cell phone call to my most powerful contact. In less than 20 minutes, the rest of our trip was cancelled, and the next day we had a taxi, ferry, limo, reservations from Naples to Paris and Paris to New York on Air France, and a limo from JFK to the W Union Square Hotel. We awoke in Capri and went to sleep in New York.

We had dinner Saturday night at the Caesar Augustus, toasting our good fortune but worried about the future.

As far as anyone knew, we were still away. The first 72 hours are the most critical for premature babies. We spent Monday and Tuesday visiting Danielle and her husband, Jan, in the hospital, and looking at these two miracles. (The hospital has a level 3 natal intensive care unit, and is famous for work with premature births.)

We returned home Tuesday night, and Maria will return to New York next week to see Gabrielle Victoria and Alaina Marie again. They are still critical, but stable, and doing well under the circumstances. Danielle is recovering nicely.

My wife and I are still trying to understand what we’ve been through. We do realize that we have two miracles, and are blessed.

I am sharing this to be honest and to include my community in what we’ve been through. And I have a favor to ask.

Please DO NOT send us email, regular mail, or phone messages about the girls. These will complicate, not help, our lives right now. We know that you understand the gravity of the situation and what we’re all going through. Feel free to post here on the blog.

But please DO take a minute out of your day to say a prayer—however you tend to do so—for the girls. We’re convinced that will help, and we’re appreciative of that effort.

I’m running my business as normally as I can, because we have to get on with our lives. Feel free to call and write as you normally would in terms of our relationship.

Just don’t forget that small prayer. Thank you.

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34 Responses to Incredible Journey

  1. Nancy McGuire says:

    Alan, First of all, congratulations to you and your family on this incredible event! You and your family, especially the little babies and their parents, are in our prayers. Nancy

  2. Linda Popky says:


    Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.


  3. Sally Strackbein says:

    You are all in my prayers.


  4. Pat Sharp says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My prayers are with you and your family.


  5. Dan Weedin says:

    Alan, my family’s prayers are with you and yours. Congratulations on becoming grandparents.

  6. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family Alan.


  7. Dave Gardner says:

    Alan, you and your entire family are in out thoughts and prayers. May you and your entire family continue to be blessed.

  8. Alan Allard says:


    My thoughts and prayers will include you and your family. Thank you for sharing the news with us.

  9. Karen says:


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May you feel comfort and blessings now and in the times ahead.


  10. Alan Weiss says:

    My wife and I are very appreciative. The owner of the restaurant where we dined tonight had her son 16 years ago at 24 weeks and he was 1.5 pounds, with the medical technology of that era. He keeps asking whether I’ll let him drive my Bentley.

  11. Alan,

    I am thinking of you and your family at this difficult time and including you in our thoughts and prayers.


  12. Pat Tith says:

    May the spirits of love and hope be with you as you welcome these two jewels into your family…..yes, an incredible journey.


  13. Ed Kless says:

    Alan, you and your family are in my prayers. As a traveler with a wife in her 36th week, I can certainly relate.

    May the peace which passes all understanding be with each of you.

  14. Dear Capo,

    Feel free to focus exclusively on your most important role being a grandfather. Under these conditions I am sure the rest of the world could do without your support for a while.

    God bless you all!


  15. Wayne Botha says:


    Your family is in our prayers.

    Our son was born at 32 weeks, 12 years
    ago and is growing up to be a fine young man.

    Wayne and Dalene

  16. Alan, my wife worked with premature babies for a long time. She said that girls are tougher than boys and tend to fight harder for survival.

    So thoughts and prayers to you and your family, thoughts and prayers.


  17. Mark Cioni says:

    Lynda and I send all of our hopes and prayers to Gabrielle Victoria, Alaina Marie and your family.

    Mark Cioni

  18. Alan, all the best to you and your (growing!) family. You are all in my thoughts.


  19. Sital says:


    In the 1930s, my father was born 10 weeks premature. He’s now a strong and resilient 75 year old.

    A few years ago, my niece was born at 28 weeks weighing less than 2 pounds. She’s now a really cute 5 year old. And, just like her grandfather, is a strong character and highly resilient.

    Wishing the girls and your family strength and best wishes


  20. Drew Stevens PhD says:

    Chris, myself and the children will pray for your entire family each and every day. May the family continually find comfort in the Lord and may he protect and heal.


  21. Katherine Radeka says:


    Gene, born at 30 weeks forty one years ago this month, and I wish your family all the best.


  22. Donna Walsh says:

    Good wishes and prayers for you and your family are coming your way. It was incredibly generous of you to share this personal news with us.
    All the best,

  23. Libby Wagner says:

    Alan and Maria,
    Blessings to you and your family. You ARE in my thoughts and prayers and I am sending you much love and divine guidance.
    Love, Libby

  24. Alan and Maria,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family.
    With Much Love,

  25. Guido says:

    Dear Alan,

    You and your family are in our prayers. Your sharing of this rather personal story exemplifies your commitment to Life Balance and the true motives for being a Million Dollar Consultant.

    Thank you for your wisdom. God will carry you and your loved ones through this experience. The world just became a better place with the birth of the twins!

    With love and respect,


  26. Ann Latham says:


    Hoping the joy increases, the anxiety subsides, and the girls grow stronger every day. You and your family are in our thoughts.


  27. Stuart Cross says:

    Alan, Having been an uncle to a premature baby (32 weeks) I have a small insight into the mix of emotions you and your family are currently going through. You are all in our thoughts and Scythia and I are beaming positive best wishes to you across the Atlantic!


  28. Pam Harper says:

    Alan, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Pam

  29. Bob Poole says:

    Alan, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Bob

  30. Bill Corbett says:

    Alan, Maria, and family,

    I just called a prayer chapel that prayed with me for all of you. Some of the beautiful words that the person I prayed with were that the love, peace and grace of God is working in all of you right now; that your faith and our faith is strong; that God’s life is within every cell of the girls, moment by moment; and that God’s love heals in everyway.

    I’ve been to the chapel. Our prayer request is already in the chapel in a basket and will be prayed for over the next 30 days. Someone sits and prays in the chapel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Cindy and I send you all of our love and support along with the healing prayers.

  31. Ed Poll says:

    Alan, Mazl Tov. I just returned and learned of your blessings and difficulties. My hope is that everyone in the family will be healthy …

  32. Your family and especially those baby girls and their parents are in my special thoughts. I don’t even know any of you, really, although I feel like I know you to an extent. What a tough time for all…and I’m very hopeful that all will be well for everyone in the Weiss family.


  33. Adrian Ott says:

    Alan and Maria,

    Congratulations on your new grandchildren. My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    Warm Regards,


  34. Alan,

    I have prayed for a sense of peace and comfort for all of you and of course for these dear babies to be healthy.



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