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.
Tuesday night I went to a book event to meet Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Since January, I not only read and studied the book – I committed to my own happiness project. Writing Letters to Jodi.
Gretchen gave a light-hearted talk about her studies on happiness and how she implemented the theories into action. The result is she did raise her own level of happiness and is inspiring others to do so too.
You may think this phenomenon of happiness is another “feel good” in disguise to avoid life’s hardest realities. In the past five years, I too have been on a quest to discover the unknown truths about happiness. I wanted to know that if you experience suffering can you be happy – again?
Although Gretchen Rubin has not experienced my loss, we do share many perspectives and our commitment to personal growth. Her new-and-improved formula for happiness is : being happier requires you to thinking about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
Would you like to join me – and be happier?
Mothers and fathers typically fall madly in love with their children. Often it is a love that transcends all other kinds of earthly love.
There is purity with it and an unconditional quality that is truly of the Soul and of God.
– John-Roger When Are You Coming Home
A reader shared an extraordinary story with me. She had a minor medical procedure which resulted in four and half years of being paralyzed. During this time her mother lived and cared for her recovery everyday. Her mother made her feel special, gave her a voice and believed in her – that she could do anything.
She told me, walking and “wearing stilettos is a reminder of what I may not have enjoyed if I didn’t have someone who loved and believed in me.” This is LOVE – that transcends all others. Have you started living more fully? Share your experience and you can inspire others.
It’s a snowy blizzard today. There is beauty in snow-covered trees, winter silence, walks in the snow and warming up by the fire.
But, today is different – there is no immediate end for this storm. And so during many hours of shoveling snow, I was thinking “what matters most to Jodi?”
You taught me what matters most (in spite of the storm) – do the things you can do.
Is it possible to accept our path through life? Can I share our path with others and acknowledge beauty in the storm? The answer does not lie with should, could or would but rather . . .
What can I do next?
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
— Christopher Reeve
“Reflections on a new life” – took on a new meaning during fall 2004, with two more spinal surgeries to remove a recurrence. Both Jodi and Christopher Reeve did not allow a spinal cord injury to paralyze their vibrant spirit to live, instead they summoned hope in motion. Jodi loved this quote and it soon became another mantra to live fully.
“Happy Birthday Lauren!”
Have you ever thought about the many gifts you receive in a day? It occurred to me that we all have so much to celebrate. But, why do we dismiss the opportunities for celebration?
Today is my niece Lauren’s fifth birthday. So last night, we celebrated with a visit and brought Lauren a special treat – delicious chocolate cupcakes with her favorite blue icing from the Saint Peters Bakery. Lauren made sure to first savor every bite of chocolate cake and then enjoy the icing with every lick. We laughed as she kissed her parents with her blue icing lips – smearing them with sugary giggles of celebration.
Six days after Jodi died Lauren arrived. She has told me that Jodi is her guardian angel who watches and protects her. I thank her for the thought. But, most of all Lauren invites my soul to celebrate the gifts to live, love and laugh again. A present worth celebrating!
Rusty Drowne – enjoys playing games more than doing homework.
A Tip To Live Fully – There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Enjoy what is happening now. Can you?
Rusty has stayed with us since Sunday. I can remember when you were his babysitter. Although he’s now 10, his energy can still leave you feeling exhausted even after a walk home from school.
We decided to go out for “chinese” last night as a special treat for Rusty. We talked, laughed, ate chinese food even with ketchup, sipped green tea and shared our “fortunes” with one another – loving and living each “Rusty” moment fully.
My fortune cookie read, “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.”
I remembered vividly the early weeks of your diagnosis. It was an unexpected life journey, which required determination and guts – and you were not afraid to play this game. Instead, we took on an attitude of “why not” and lived fully playing the cards we held very well.