Tag Archives: Life Choices
“As long as man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
For those of us who deeply knew Jodi, this quote captures the essence of her competitive mindset. It didn’t matter if the competition fiercely held her underwater, swam to out-touch her finish, excelled her in academics or metastasized cancerous cells in her spine — she never allowed doubts, fears, or “what ifs” get in her own way.
What’s getting in your way? Do you see circumstances or the abundance of possibilities? I’d love to know . . . please share your comments.
* Writing this post during the excitement of a new school year — today, Jodi’s Dad assumes a new position, head football coach of The Perkiomen School and the start of pre-season camp. Without a doubt, she would be most proud to share her father (her biggest fan) with a team focusing on possibilities.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” — Unknown
Do you agree? I believe we all have the capacity and desires to live our lives by the moments that take our breath away. These exhilarating moments can be — giving birth to your child, experiencing God’s majestic works, climbing mountainous summits, gazing on spectacular sunsets, surfing ocean waves, or reaching a personal goal of great significance.
Here’s what I’ve discovered through writing Letters to Jodi — my heart and soul are being expansively filled with the love of Jodi. It’s a love that we as mother and daughter continue to share even now within these moments. This love comes from readers who are commenting about the profound impact Jodi has had on their lives. It’s in the moments of reading, talking or listening to them that I know for sure our lives are not measured by the number of years, stuff, achievements, etc. but rather by the moments that simply take our breath away.
Isn’t it time we all start living more by these breathless moments? I have a feeling Jodi would want us all to — what do you think?
I’m on my real journey of discovery — what about you? In the early weeks of diagnosis, Jodi was not afraid of cancer. In fact, she wanted to inspire and help others see beyond their own challenges and sufferings. She was determined to put aside the awful “chemo side effects” — loss of hair, weight gain, nausea, the summer job, college plans and see it with new eyes. And to those who knew her — know that’s exactly what she intended to do with the deck of cards life dealt her. Where are your eyes seeking?
In a slight delicate rush, I broke open my fortune cookie in amazement to receive this message. “The time has come to allow your heart to guide you.”
Immediately, my heart brought me back to you. I had spoken that day with a friend, who had also lost her daughter to cancer. We chatted about how different our lives are without our daughters. MJ referenced how much “her” Katie guides her to find meaning. And with Katie’s inspiration, she now helps mothers embrace when every day matters.
We spoke about “why” we believe every day matters. And how we choose to allow ourselves to move forward even after our greatest losses. For some, the steps maybe too difficult or they simply choose to believe they can not.
But I said, “why Jodi would be very angry with us if we did not allow ourselves to see the possibilities in what we can do.”
And in that next moment, MJ is telling me to speak and share our story — The Journey of Life, Love and Loss. Before I could utter my response, she asked me “what would Jodi want you to do now?”
Very briefly, I thought and said, “she’d want me to share the message and allow my heart to guide me.”
And with that, I can and the message will inspire others.
“We all have a fear of the unknown what one does with that fear will make all the difference in the world.”
I started thinking of today’s date — 07/07 and its significant meaning. It was seven years ago today, when you met Dr. Lackman. We all thought the pain in your shoulder and back was caused from an athletic injury — but then these words were spoken, “it could be an osteosarcoma aka bone cancer.” And you then, passed out.
I don’t think on that day or days to follow we ever asked “why.” Instead we prayed for a miracle and began to face our deepest fears – the unknown. On July 7th, 2003 – our lives were about to be changed forever.
I believe life presents us with choices including our fears. But it’s how we choose to respond that makes all the difference. I only wished you had many more choices.
June – the milestone month for you and your brother securing your driver’s license. Remember the day . . . you finally passed on June 13th, 2002. You were so happy! While Jamie got his five years ago today.
After many months of driving practice, lessons with the driving school instructor and two previous attempts with some very minor driving errors – you passed the test with new-found confidence! Lots of perseverance, with some trials including the times you hit the curb, slightly tapped the fender and endless practicing of exit ramps – all in hopes of passing the test.
Getting your license gave you much happiness. I remember the days after your passing, we were all feeling so sad and broken – that your brother had quietly claimed your driver’s license and Michigan ID.
I knew then and know now that all he wanted was to hold on to your happiness – seeing you happy. It was during those final weeks that you refused to let any of us hold on to a memory less than your vibrant, happy and fun self. This included your brother, for whom you had the most desire to see happy.
Amazingly you have challenged me to pursue the highest of all goals – happiness. The end toward which all other ends lead.