Monthly Archives: May 2010

Heroes to Remember

“We need a few heroes because they draw us on to become better versions of ourselves.”  —  Wally Bock

* Who are the heros in your life?  How have they influenced your better being?

* Jodi and her Brownie Troop at the start of the Memorial Day Parade.   Brownies was only a one year commitment – 1991.

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“Do Not Fail to Do What Ought to Be Done”

 

“Do not fail to do what ought to be done, and do not do what ought not to be done.  Otherwise your burden of suffering will grow heavier.”  — The  Dhammapada

Thanks to the Happiness Project for the relevance and impact of this post.  For me it’s . . . “doing of what ought to be done” like attending The Hill graduation to honor the young woman who is awarded The Jodi Calvario’03 Award — although we don’t even know her, but in some way she is known to us in spirit.     And so, on a day filled with the paradox of life, doing what ought to be done transforms our sadness into joy. 

In the fall ’02, Jodi selected a similar quote for her senior yearbook page.   These words inspired family and friends to live with intention and hope —  “Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.” 

What can you do to ease your burden of suffering?  Please share your comments or email peg.calvario[at]gmail[.com].

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“What IF?” is more about “Why NOT?”

Dear Jodi,

It is often at this time of year that I ask the question, “What IF?”  It may pose an abstract question in context, but truly the answer lies within my personal transformation.

One of my secrets in coping is to co-create my world into our world.  I remember vividly moments of fear – times caught between life and death.  Now, I no longer question the “Why?” but embrace this experience of “What IF?” 

In talking more with others about my personal loss — I have transformed.  My soul is now a little more kinder, more loving,  and more compassionate.  The “What IF?” transformed my tragedy into an expansion of your beauty in spirit.

And tomorrow morning, your father and I will attend the 159th commencement of The Hill, to honor the recipient of your award.  And so it will be  — “What IF?” …  your legacy is named the only young woman award for outstanding leadership and high sportsmanship in competitive athletics forever?  As your mother, I say “Why Not?”

Love,

Mom

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“We make a living from what we get. We make a life from what we give.”

“We make a living from what we get.  We make a life from what we give.”  — Winston Churchill

Do you agree or disagree?   I think about this quotation all the time, usually in the context of Jodi’s legacy.   Her life continues to give us gifts along the way.   And in a few days, a sixth form Hill student will receive at commencement the Jodi Calvario ’03 Award .  What gifts are you receiving or giving?

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A Mother’s Day without Jodi

 Dear Jodi,

I’ve thought about what I’d write to you today – Mother’s Day.   I could easily write — all that I had done for you, the lessons I taught you, and even how I embarrassed you — being your mother.  Or recall past Mother’s Days and even dream about our future of what could have been.  Either way — I had to “give you back.”

And that has been the hardest job of being a mother!   As time passes, the more I’m convinced that surviving changes us.  I look at life differently because your death gave my life new meaning and purpose.  

Often I think about our final hours and moments together.  We made promises to each other and most importantly, we talked about the lonely journey ahead.   I believe you were leading me into the future — while I was loving and holding you.

The late Gilda Radner said it well:  “I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I’ve learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next.” 

Delicious ambiguity on my sixth Mother’s Day without you. 

Love,

Mom

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Are You Content to Be Simply Yourself?

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”  — Lao Tzu

I found this quote on The Happiness Project blog.  It made me think of Jodi.  I’m sure many would describe Jodi as a fierce competitor with a mindset of relentless determination and discipline.  

Although her athletic and academic achievements were the results of her competitive spirit – she truly was more content to simply be herself.  She believed that athletic records (including marshmallow mouth stuffing contests) and even medical statistics were meant to be broken – even if the odds were not in her favor.

It was July, 2003 – only a few days after her biopsy and we were awaiting the results.   This one summer evening, Jodi was surrounded at home by a group of classmates – all who loved her and their friendship.  I can remember these friends looking at her with signs of vast disbelief.  They revered her as an athletic competitor who trumped the impossible game scoring buzzer goals and out swam to win by hundreds of a second races – all for her Hill team!

It was on that night when Jodi told me, “I’m not afraid if it’s cancer.”  I knew then that she chose not to compare herself nor compete with the good fortunes of her friends.  She wanted to use cancer as a conduit for opportunity.  To “be Jodi” meant to help others who secretly wanted and needed more in their life than the jewels she contentedly had.

What about you – are you comparing and competing with others?  Or are you content to simply be yourself?

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