Saturday, April 19, 2014

Good Grief

Jodi Porter, 46, one of my work associates, died Thursday, April 17, after a long illness.  I'm feeling a little bit like the Charlie Brown character who walked around saying, "good grief," every time Lucy yanked the football away before he had a chance to kick it.  We were all rooting for Jodi to get well and come back to work.  Jodi was one of those people you could count on to bring joy to others.  She always had a smile and she was voted employee of the month just before she took leave to battle her cancer which came back a second time.  This is the second loss for our company since we opened our doors nearly two years ago.  My thoughts are with Jodi's family and my peers at work who are grieving Jodi's loss.  I'm also thinking about Ryan's family who lost their son when he was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple of days before our grand opening.  Grief is good.  It's part of the healing process.

I will never forget Jodi or Ryan.  I shared my best memory of Ryan with his parents when they stopped in for a visit a few weeks after the funeral.  We were at the hospital signing up new members and we were overwhelmed.  It was so crowded we were in the hallways.  We called for help.  Ryan showed up to assist.  "I'm here to watch how you do the sign-ups," he said enthusiastically.  "It's your time to shine, Ryan," I said.  "You can do this."  Then I watched Ryan light up the crowd.  The kid was on fire.  He gave the best presentation of his life.  And two days before we opened our doors, his football was taken away from him before he reached the finish line.  I mourned with his family the night before our grand opening.  Today I mourn the loss of Jodi as they lay her body to rest.  My comfort is in knowing where Jodi and Ryan are today.  They are in a better place.  They are cheering for us to keep going, even when we are grieving because someone took our football away from us too soon.  Rest in peace, my friends.  Your memories will be in my heart forever.

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