I recently returned from trip to the U.S. for our largest brand launch to date. I must admit, it was spectacular. Not biased at all of course. 😁 Our team worked crazy hours over a 3-month period to rebrand a national company and the event team applied that logo to every possible spot imaginable. So cool.
When I got back, I proudly shared all the photos and videos with my wife and family. Then, on a Facetime call with my wife’s mom Jan, we showed them to her one by one.
At the end of the modern day slide show, with a bit of hesitation in her voice, she said to me “You’re a gooder” as she tried to express being proud of the work.
To put this call in context, she has been living with Parkinsons for the last several years which has taken both a physical and mental toll on her. Her movement is laboured as her body stiffens. She is slowly starting to forget things and losing her ability to resolve the everyday complexities of life. Her ability to communicate erodes daily, and you can see she knows what she wants to say but just can’t get it out.
Yet, despite all this, despite being an omnipresent witness to her own decline, she still radiates the joyous zest for life that I have always known her for. Laughter remains close at hand, ready to leap out of the life sized birthday cake, in celebration of each and every blessed moment.
This is not to say that there aren’t difficult moments, moments of doubt, moments of fear, moments of trying to make sense of it all – sound familiar? But she has made a choice, a conscious choice, to accept what is and to let her energy and essence shine through for us all.
I remember when we first met, twenty years ago now, at Thursday’s restaurant in Montreal. It was the “vetting” meeting with Jody and her. While we chatted about all sorts of things, she was really reading my energy, sifting through the false bravado, unpeeling layers that I would uncover in years to come, to see what was in my heart.
(I also remember her quickly correcting my swearing after a couple slips…still a work in progress…😬)
She knew right then and there that I was the one for her daughter.
She saw through the fact that, at the time, I was broken. I had a drug addiction. My sense of self had long been hijacked and decimated by my alcoholic mother and step-father. A “loser” living in my mom’s basement apartment. A mediocre job with no career plan. I was quite the catch I must say….
Yet remarkably, she saw what I don’t even think I can admit seeing at the time; the inextinguishable divine light within. At that point in time, it was so dim, like the faint glow of morning embers of an evening campfire. Almost indiscernible, yet she found it.
Her strength to see the good in me when even I couldn’t make heads from tails, also reinforced Jody’s belief that I might be a keeper. And that, forever changed my life in every conceivable way.
The truly magical power of belief that, one day, I would fly.
So Jan, you’re MY gooder. Happy Birthday!
P.S. Who in your life or organization can you infuse a little belief into? They need you. We all do.