Life’s Love & Loss with “Letters to Jodi”


 Many have asked me, “what will you do now?  How do you do it?  And will you share your personal experience to the world?”   (photo – May, 2002  U.S.A. National Waterpolo Tournament, Salt Lake City)


Today is the fifth anniversary of my daughter Jodi’s passing.

And much of  January is spent reflecting on memories – my life with Jodi and now the years being without her. 

Two years ago, I wrote my personal vision in the form of a letter to Jodi.  It became a critical moment in my life – a chance to choose to live fully again.  I pondered the idea – to follow my dream, live my passions and to lead my life.

 What does it mean to live fully?  What really matters – especially now after experiencing such tragic loss?  Surely, I am not alone – but maybe I could share my story and the lessons from Jodi.  

Sharing my story is not enough. 

What if I committed to the lessons learned through our extraordinary journey of love and loss.  Would my impossible situation become a brilliant opportunity?  Maybe now is the right time because so many of us are suffering from loss – whether experienced by death of loved ones, jobs, relationships, money, health, homes, self-esteem and so much more.

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.  –  Charles R. Swindoll

Motivated  from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, I am launching my blog to fulfill my dream – Letters to Jodi.

Dear Jodi,

I love this picture!  I remember how excited you were to be selected to play in the National Waterpolo tournament.   (To be the first female athlete from The Hill.)    You were following your dream.  The Northeast Zone team gave you an opportunity to grow as an athlete – the coaches, players and games were all played at the next level.    

I remember how much fun you had and especially the thrill in this photo – you standing on the high dive platform with the mountains behind you and your beautiful smile filled with happiness.   You were on top of the world!

Although the journey to get there required so much  from you – training, swim workouts, mental skills and missing your friend’s graduation were just a few.   You were living life’s truth – always do your best.  When we do our best, we  dismiss feelings of guilt, blame or regret.  We allow ourselves to be free – true to ourself.

And as I look at this photo – your smile reminds me of our final conversation with Dr. Chin.   We were facing the impossible – the final hours were approaching and when you asked, “is there anything more we can do?”  Instead of a “no,” he said, “Jodi – our lives are not measured by the number of years, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 

This photo and your spirit still take my breath away.







Filed under Coaching, Leadership, Life Coaching

15 responses to “Life’s Love & Loss with “Letters to Jodi”

  1. Starla J. King

    Peg, you are amazing… your words both heart-wrenching and inspirational. You are giving Jodi (and us, your readers) an incredible gift with Letters to Jodi.

    I’ll be reading you. *thank you*

    • Peg Calvario

      Thank you for appreciating life’s beautiful gifts. I’m anxious to connect more with you with our blogs.


  2. Well Peg,

    Your Jodi will never let you rest! She wants her mother out there making her life big, making others lives big.

    This is such a tender letter and inspirational site and I’ll be stopping by often to express myself.

    But we miss our precious angels, Peg, of course we do. On this 5th anniversary know that I wrap my arms around you, Tom, your son.


    • Peg Calvario

      Your words are so heartfelt – thank you! I believe both Jodi and Katie have decided to “move” their mothers beyond what we thought we were capable of being.
      And thank you for your essence in When Everyday Matters.


  3. Lisa Gettler

    Mrs. Calvario,

    I, too, am remember Jodi on this day. She was my captain, my teammate, and my friend. I miss her and her zest for life more than words can say. At the same time, I know she is always looking down on us, smiling at our good moments, and helping us through the bad ones. It was an honor to know Jodi, and I will never forget everything that I learned from her, and all the good times that we shared together at Hill.
    I hope you and your family are well, and that even though Jodi can never be replaced, it is good to know that you are celebrating her life, and not regreting that she left us all too soon. Jodi was an inspiration to everyone that knew her, and that will never, ever change.

    With love,

    • Peg Calvario

      Your thoughts and words are beautiful! And you are absolutely right, she wants us all to continue loving her and to treasure her legacy. Thank you for sharing and connecting your heart to us.

  4. Emenkowitz

    I now know “moxie” can be tender and inspirational !!!

    • Peg Calvario

      “Thank you” – and that’s for helping to get my “moxie” back!
      Hope to receive more comments from the Doctor of Patient Advocacy.

  5. Gered Thack


    What a wonderful forum you created to support, help, and cherish memories of those we will love always. What a spirit Jodi had and she was always so humble about all her achievements. She was a young women beyond her years, whom I will always remember for her smile and her thirst for getting to know what made people tick

    Love and support on this 5th anniversary, I think of Jodi often and always smile,

    The Thacks

    • Peg Calvario

      Thank you for your comments. There’s an abundance of love and compassion flowing from so many of Jodi’s friends. I know how much she loved you, your family and football at the “Big House” that’s west of State College.
      Keep smiling!


  6. Jill

    My daughter just sent me your link…because she knows I am struggling with the recent loss of My Mother. Your letters to Jodi have touched me because I am thinking of doing the same thing for my Mother….

    • Peg Calvario

      Writing letters is a beautiful gift you can give yourself and your Mother. Grab a beautiful journal and start writing. I’ll be thinking of you and thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Pingback: “Life is measured by the number of breaths we take” « Peg Calvario's Blog

  8. john thiessen

    saw the story about you in today’s mercury. what an amazing move forward.
    your blog suggests that tomorrow, jan. 29, will be the 7th anniversary of jodi’s passing.
    i’m impressed how you have moved on with your life — to help others.
    all the best.
    john t

  9. Peg,

    Five years, 500 lifetimes. January is a hard month for most people in cold regions to begin with but the world is colder without your Jodi in it.

    But heaven, wow, heaven is warm and welcoming and where we will all be someday where every tear will indeed be washed away. And when the hour is upon us, Jodi and Katie will be there to greet us. I believe that with all my heart.

    Peace and love to you and family,

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