Former President Jimmy Carter, Stuart McDiarmid, Kathi Lester, Dot A. , Rashelle and Josh Brooks, Donna B. , Darleene W., Kirk S., Consuella W., John Prine and Ed P.
The best 12, all of which have directly, indirectly given me hope and strength to keep moving ahead, in a year that has been hard and a crossroads in my life, reminiscent of 2002 and my sister’s death. Jimmy Carter is an example to us all to keep moving, learning, giving and growing. Kathi lived her life the way she wanted, only pancreatic cancer could knock her down after three years. Stuart was a shock, here one day gone the next- but what a life of love and travel with his precious wife, Jan. I never ever saw Stuart in a bad mood or say a bad word about anyone. A renaissance man with an artist’s eye, designer, friend to all. When my Joe was looking for a job, Stuart reached out to him. Josh became my hero with that diagnosis and bone marrow transplant at 11! His mom, Rashelle has not left his side and continues to minister to others with the Mac and Cheese Ministry. Josh gets chemo and heads on to school. My SIL Donna and MIL Darleene are courageous woman, battling cancer. Their bravery and strength is beyond compare. Kirk unknowingly became a mentor to me, when I toured his company and saw how he knew everyone by name, and their family members and gave them the tools they needed to do their jobs. He recognized those needing a hand and encouraged them with opportunities and a better life for them and their families. He leads by example, has his own bad times and keeps positive. Consuella is my best friends mom, a mother to an entire community actually. “No” is not part of her vocabulary. Yes is the answer and she finds a way to get whatever needs done, whoever needs help- consider it done. That woman is full of love for all. John Prine, your words of beauty and truth start each and every morning for me. Your life story, painted with powerful prose, makes each time I hear a song, like the first time. After two battles with cancer, and countless collaborations with new songwriters, a gift to all. The singing mailman is getting his due, and in your selfless, humble nature your keep laughing and lifting others up. My bestie, Ed is larger than life, full of fashion, laughter and delight. This boy from Connecticut and this NC girl we’re destined to meet and somewhat of a bumpy customer service start, more in my memoir. Serious infections lead to life as double amputee and a brother to me. He never complains and he has been dealt some crappy situations. He volunteers, he meets with schools and shares his experiences to help big and little kids understand we are all different and it’s okay to talk about it. Ed makes me laugh til I cry, he is a caregiver to his aging parents and shows kindness to all he meets. I’m thankful for these folks that rally my spirit on a bad day. An example to all, we need more good stories. Please share with me someone who encourages you, and I’ll share there story, and the waves of kindness will ripple and flow outward. That’s what this life is about really, encouraging others and pushing on through. Happy 2020 y’all 🍀
Courtesy to John Prine https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jar8wiaE0dw