Posted on June 04 2019
Thank you Amy for sharing your journey on Jordana’s Rainbows. I love sharing stories from people who share how Jordana has impacted their life. It can be hard to avoid self-pity entirely, but hearing others being touched by Jordana unlocks my own ability to choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude.
I am sharing Amy’s passage because I am truly appreciative of friends and people’s contributions to Jordana's Rainbows. Their stories lead to more opportunities for me to grow and improve my own psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, increases happiness and reduces depression.
Often we go see a doctor for a quick fix on things weighing us down but perhaps finding the joy within yourself, by sharing gratitude will enhance your own internal ability to deal with stresses and sadness. Amy thank you for being my daily dose this week!
I met Alison several years ago when my daughter, Elena, and Jordana were in the same dance class. Elena was three years old at the time, Jordana a year older. Every Saturday morning, we bonded over cups of coffee and stories of the mundane, ridiculous and often hilarious tales of life with small kids. We learned that we both had sons called Lucas and that my Lucas was the same age as her youngest Laurence. We sympathized with each other when one or the other of our daughters would tearfully resist going into class or would sit alone in the corner. We joked about how we would ever manage to get our little girls’ wispy fine hair into the perfect “ballet bun” for the dance recital.
When speaking with Elena about what she remembers about Jordana and dance class, she tells me that she remembers that she was always smiling. That at four years old she was inherently kind and encouraged Elena in class. She also remembers that Jordana always made a point of making every guest at her birthday parties feel special and included. Kindness, it seemed, was Jordana’s go-to.
Those days of toddler dance classes seem so far away, yet at the same time just barely out of reach. Elena is 12 years old now, finishing up her first year of middle school and navigating the rocky terrain of friendships, growing up, and figuring out who she wants to be, not just in the broader sense of career and family, but in her essence and the energy that she puts out in the world.
Elena told me recently that she thinks about Jordana when she is working through a difficult time. At 12 years old, she understands that children can get sick, that sometimes things don’t turn out the way everyone prayed that they would. She knows that Jordana faced DIPG with courage beyond her years and because of this, she also knows that your challenges do not define you but how you respond to those challenges that leave the lasting impression. She is inspired by Jordana, just as I am inspired by Alison.
We are doubly blessed this year to celebrate Elena’s Confirmation and the First Holy Communion of our youngest child, Emma. As our girls have been busy preparing spiritually to receive these sacraments, I have tried to make a conscious effort to be mindful of their true meaning in my children’s lives. These moments are not just milestones or rites of passage - items that need to be “checked off” in a mindless and systematic way in order to move on to the next stage - but touchstones in their faith that they can lean on for strength.
For me, when I reflect on faith, it is inextricably linked to my friend Alison, for she is truly the embodiment of grace. Witnessing a friend not just walk forward with faith, despite the darkness, but do so in a way that lifts others is hard to put in to words. I acknowledge I am no where near eloquent enough to adequately describe Alison’s essence. Suffice it to say that it’s undeniably Jordana who is guiding her mom. No doubt about it.
Keeping this in mind, we decided we wanted to gift guests at our celebration with something that would acknowledge the sanctity of the sacraments that Elena and Emma were receiving but also make a positive impact, one that our guests will carry with them. These bracelets were designed by Veronica Marziale, Creative Director, Jordana’s Rainbows Foundation, and they could not be a more perfect symbol of what we hope to instil in our girls and in our son Lucas. Love, faith, and most of all doing “small, great things” every chance they get to honour a remarkable little girl. We love you Jordana.
Written By: Amy Coppa
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