Just this month, my life has been deeply touched by your friends. A couple of days ago, I met Dawn, her boyfriend and her mother for lunch. An ordinary social activity for most. But for me – this lunch was a special occasion.
We met at the Black Lab Bistro amidst busy lives and the gap in years since our last visit. Although, you will always be nineteen, your friends have now reached another milestone – 25!
Sitting at the table, I was happy listening to Dawn talk about their life together in Florida. She even recalled an embarrassing moment during one of your parties (3rd form year) – your father duct taping all the boys zippers. (His form of parental birth control.)
Reconnecting with your friends fills me with much happiness! I also realize that my journey is still with moments of great sadness. And somehow life isn’t all about what happens to me as your mother, but it’s also about how those left behind survive their own sadness without you.
I believe they are surviving – but there is sadness within the “Jodi moments” as they too find a way to live through it.
As your mother, I could consider my daughter as someone who could be defined by her extraordinary impact. Perhaps time is allowing me to experience your presence like endless ripples in water – through the lives of so many people.
Just tonight, I was reminded again of “Jodi being Jodi.” I was chatting with Carter about her new plans. She repeatedly spoke about the times she’d visit with you in the hospital. Remember, when she was going to the career counselor and she’d spend more time with us exploring her possibilities?
Well something was different tonight …. Carter said, you told her to “follow her passion.” And so, she is with a new perspective. Although these decisions will experience change for her and her family, she is willing to undergo it – with fierce commitment and passion! (Nothing less would not be Carter. . .)
I remember the early days of Carter – you were impressed by her achievements and athletic accomplishments. She was your Hill dorm parent and teacher – actually very ordinary roles at the time. A relationship that deeply grew into a loving friendship – all because of life’s complexities with two ordinary people leading each other to live extraordinary lives.
I’ve discovered in writing Letters to Jodi, that I’m experiencing the fullness of life. It’s only through our pains, tears, sorrows, disappointments and heartaches; that we then break free to find joy, happiness, and wisdom necessary to grow from our experiences. What are you avoiding in the depths of your experience? Isn’t it time you commit to diving deep!
“You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” — Albert Camus
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s been three months of writing – Letters to Jodi. I’m always happier after writing a letter, but when a post receives comments and emails its beautiful. The compensation is the more we help others, the happier we become, and the happier we become, the more inclined we are to help others. I’m curious . . . what’s your contribution to others happiness?
** Contributing to the water polo team’s success was an essential component to Jodi’s happy life.
Happy Birthday! On your special day, you are pushing me to appreciate the meaning of “what is” – today. Here’s what you wrote about birthdays . . .
“I believe that we should not just celebrate our birth, but each and every day. We should celebrate each new and wonderful day that is given to us . . . continue to live each day to the fullest.”
I know that I want to turn back time and savor the moments of your lifetime. Memories of your arrival on April 13, 1985 at exactly 4:13 a.m., your first birthday, your many birthday parties including the mall scavenger hunt, your 15th birthday banner hanging in The Grille, your 16th birthday with Jay’s Subaru parked in the driveway, your 18th birthday with hopes of piercing your bellybutton and your 19th birthday with our first vacation “cancer free.” Wonderful birthdays worth celebrating.
And today – 4/13/2010 will find me with Grandmom and Aunt Amy celebrating your life as if life was 25 years ago. But what I know is – I can live with “what is,” but I can’t live without living today and each day to the fullest.
A great friend is a treasured gift – and that’s Jay. Just the other night, we had takeout with him. It was a chance for us to take care of Jay, as he had taken care of us.
Jay’s been a friend and hairstylist for more than 25 years. We have a friendship that’s rich with memories of Jodi’s lifetime – because Jay gave Jodi . . . her first haircut, treated her “pool hair,” straighten her hair, styled for prom, shaved for chemo and gave her last haircut. Ordinary moments that became extraordinary memories of happiness all because of Jay.
A simple truth – “if we take care of the moments, the years take care of themselves.” Can you live with these ordinary moments in your life? Or can you not live to make these moments extraordinary? I’d love to know . . .
“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” — Maria Edgeworth
One of my personal intentions – “take care of Jodi’s friends.” For me, being with Jodi’s friends is living abundantly in the depths of happiness, love and connection. And the moments help to bridge the loss of years. Today’s lunch with Katie and Anna was one of those moments – tears shed for the “Jodi Years.”
How do you take care of the moments? Email me peg.calvario[at ]gmail.com