“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.
“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
— John Wooden
Two of Jodi’s greatest passions include life and athletics. I can’t remember the details of her fascination with coach John Wooden. All I know for sure is that his words touched both her heart and mind. One of his most notable quotes became her signature line in The Dial. It then became her mantra and inspiration of hope.
“Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.”
** Are you inspired by someone? How have they impacted your way of thinking? I’d love to know and hope you will share by leaving a comment.
“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.
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?”
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.
Throughout the years, I have been blessed with wonderful friends. MJ is one who shares “loss” – our daughters. She’s a talented writer and sent me HERO – I want to share it with you, my hero.
“A hero travels the hero’s journey. That’s when regular people such as you or me are asked to leave our routine life because something serious has occurred and we are asked to do something about it.
We are “called to help.” We are called to save our king, our country, our friend, or ourself. And because the task is arduous, we really don’t want to accept it.
Once we fully face the seriousness of our challenge, we realize that nothing in our life will ever be the same.”
Although life will never be the same – the journey is leading me to live every day of my life. Carpe Diem!
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?