Several family members boarded a morning train to catch a Saturday afternoon New York Yankees game. The conversation between cousins Stephanie, Meagan and Jennifer was filled with excitement and anticipation. Sure they were super excited to watch their beloved Yankees play – yet, it was bigger than that! It was about the future – upcoming events to be shared with family and friends – playing all out in the game of life. First up was Jennifer’s BIG celebration, the following Saturday, for family and friends in honor of graduating with a Masters degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Two weeks later, another graduation party was on deck for Meagan and her brother Matt. And Stephanie’s double header, an upcoming bridal shower and October wedding got them all laughing, oohing and ahhhing.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Sal, Jennifer’s husband, had a special surprise for her at the Yankee baseball game (Jennifer was guessing that it was a JumboTron message) for their 11th Wedding Anniversary. (Little did she know her guess was correct.)
There was so much to share and look forward to on that Saturday. What transpired about 10 minutes before reaching the Bronx train station was a game-changer for the entire family. Jennifer, my 36-year young niece who was a runner in great health, experienced a “mild” stroke and was rushed to Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Who would have known that less than 48 hours later, Jennifer would never kiss and hug her 3-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son and beloved husband again.
The week between the life-changing event and funeral was quiet – a time for reflection, yet filled with a whirlwind of preparations. The outpouring of love, sympathy and comfort from friends and co-workers to our family has been phenomenal. Almost 600 guests attended the wake and stood in line for up to 2 hours to pay their respect to Jennifer and her family.
Now it’s our turn to extend heartfelt gratitude to the cardiologist who sat near Jennifer on the train and quickly stepped-up to assist. (Another reminder that help is always nearby, ready to serve.) There are countless individuals we would like to thank for their service (we’ll never know all your names). . . the nurse on the train who came rushing in to provide support as well as the EMTs, Doctors, Nurses, and intensive care team at the hospital. May your lives be blessed as you bless others.
Years ago, I learned that each moment in life contains multiple meanings and several perception levels. I marvel at how everything has a deeper meaning . . . Jennifer planned and was so excited (expressing her enthusiasm in a way she’s never done before) about her BIG family and friend gathering that was to celebrate achieving her Masters degree. Yes, there was a HUGE celebration on Saturday July 21, 2012 (much bigger than Jennifer might have ever imagined) with hundreds and hundreds of people celebrating Jennifer’s graduation from this life to the next. As I look at the deeper meaning, I wonder if on a soul level, Jennifer knew more than she was letting on and that’s why she was so excited about her BIG party. She did master this life and graduated to the next level of existence!
Even with the best-laid plans, life can throw us a curve ball and change-up the game. It’s how we respond that makes the difference. What do you do when life throws you a curve ball … curse it, swing at it, move out of the way, let it pass you by, or wait for the next pitch and keep playing in the game?
MaryAnn D’Ambrosio, Ph.D. is the creator of Flashcards for the Soul™. Dr. MaryAnn’s passion is to work with individuals and groups who are ready to “leap” and experience a more vibrant, dynamic on-purpose life. MaryAnn teaches educators, coaches, consultants, and professionals how to access the language of creation by tuning inward and lining up the energy to create their heart’s desire. If you’ve been merely surviving instead of thriving, be sure to pick-up your F*R*E*E Overcome Overwhelm Toolkit at: LeapWithoutLimits.com