Tag Archives: The Hill School

Letters to Jodi launches Website

Letters to Jodi launches Website

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.


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“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“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.

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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?”



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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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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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“We should not just celebrate our birth, but each and every day.”

Dear Jodi,

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.    



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