I made a big mistake yesterday and I paid for it dearly. And I mean dearly. It's probably the reason why I didn't post yesterday. So, because I yawned about 50x on a 2 p.m. conference call with a few colleagues, I decided I best break my no caffeine/no coffee rule and have a bit so that I didn't have a repeat performance on a 3 p.m. conference call with one of my internal clients. I drank up (for the first time in about four months, I think) and it did the trick: No yawns on my 3 p.m. call. However, shortly after my call concluded I started having what can best be described as upper stomach contractions every 10 seconds or so. It was as if someone was wringing out the top of my stomach. Unfortunately, the problem persisted for several hours, including through the start of a delicious dinner at Kinkead's with an old friend and mentor. The pain was so bad that I ended up packing up most of my meal in a doggy bag and left dinner early. Fortunately, once my coffee-soaked stomach knew it had ruined my catching up with an old friend, the pain subsided and by the time I got home (in the pouring rain), I was finally able to enjoy the meal. I guess the acid was too much? Lesson learned. No more coffee. EVER! The pain left me exhausted and so I crashed as soon as I finished my delicious cod with lump crab imperial on top.
Anyway, enough about that. I was greeted with not one, but two heartwarming messages when I woke up this morning that I'd like to share with all of you. The first is from my brother, who just started graduate school at the University of Florida and whom I don't hear from too often so it was an extra special treat! It also was a good reminder of who I want to be throughout this short-lived ordeal and I guess what people have come to expect me to be.
Subject: Good Morning
Hey! Hope you're doing well and feeling ok.
I am rereading 7 Habits of Highly Effective people for school and came across a passage that made me think of you...just wanted to share with you...
"It's not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts. Of course, things can hurt us physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. In fact, our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well."
and a little further down the page...
"We have all known individuals in very difficult circumstances, perhaps with a terminal illness or a severe physical handicap, who maintain magnificent emotional strength. How inspired we are by their integrity! Nothing has a greater, longer lasting impression upon another person than the awareness that someone has transcended suffering, has transcended circumstance, and is embodying and expressing a value that inspires and ennobles and lifts life."
just want you to know i'm thinking of you on a daily basis and i know you hear it from many, but you truly do inspire me and these words express it far better than i ever could...thanks for being a great sister
The next note was a welcome surpise in my Facebook inbox. It is from a guy with whom I grew up. We played the "Lifesaver swap game" together at Megan Grindstaff's Valentine's Day party in the fourth grade back when I was Jenny, not Jennie. (Yes, all of that stuff started early with our group!) He lost his mother to cancer in the fourth or fifth grade, I believe. I remember being so sad for him when she died but also feeling so lucky that cancer didn't take away my own mommy when she had it a few years earlier. Anyway, I haven't seen or talked with Andy in years. I'm sure I have since college but honestly, I can't remember when. So, his note was a nice surpise and I, too, hope we see each other again soon.
I was very moved by your black and white photographs. It's funny how you can not see someone for a while, see a picture and then Really remember them as if nothing has changed..and feel an overwhelming connection.. ah..the power of the rarely seen "powerful" photo on facebook. Thank you so much for putting those up, they really grabbed me by the collar, not that I wasn't interested in seeing someone's 4thousanth picture of their baby in a different state of eating, :-) .....but to be honest I'd rather see an old friend, armor shining, standing up to throttle cancer anyday... they are an exquisitely courageous form of self expression and i sincerely thank you for sharing their beauty. I know I haven't seen you for a long time but I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you. If there is a "Team Jenny" i'd very much like a pom pom. and if I'm guilty of going off the deep end with my message... then all i have to say is, I hope you're having a great day and I hope I see you soon!