Climate Changers

I got some sad news this week, that a childhood friend of mine died unexpectedly and I'm feeling so, so sad for his mom, his siblings, his wife and his children, his coworkers and friends. I wonder if they had a chance to tell him how much he meant to them and how special he was. I wonder what they would say if they had one more day with him. I know that I'd tell him that I had a little big crush on him in the seventh grade and that I appreciated how he made an awkward time in my life a little less awkward. Bearable actually. Funny even. I can still hear Lance teasing me in a sing-song voice as I'd walk by: Dum, ta-dum, dum, dum. Hi Dumb, Dumb. 
And it still makes me smile.

So I'm pensive about life, how quickly it can change, and how impossible it is to control. And I'm thinking about climate changers, too, like Lance. Not the climate as in the icky, sticky sub-tropical humidity that rolled in over night, but the climate in a room where two or more are gathered.

I've decided to write a Saturday series about Special Someones whom I consider to be Climate Changers. To honor and remember Lance. And to maybe help his family heal and hope again.

My first Someone Special is my friend Jodi. We met almost twenty years ago, when we were both hired to work at Clear Creek High School. I would be their new counselor for the students with the last name E through K and she would be their Assistant Principal. That meant we'd work very closely together to help those teens and their families through what can be uncertain and turbulent times.

I looked forward to our every encounter because this young, pint-sized administrator was so passionate about kids, her job, and life. With her dynamic energy, she was going to set the world on fire and I was grateful to be there to experience it and bask in the warmth of the explosion. We laughed together and cried together. And we worked really well side by side, to figure out what was best for the kids under our care. We only had a year or two on the same campus, but it felt like we'd known each other our whole lives and been friends forever.

She's a Superintendent now, and I stopped by her new home yesterday for a quick visit. And though we hadn't seen each other in several years, it felt like no time at all had passed. Instant laughter from the moment she opened her door.  
Jodi is a climate changer because of her 
warm and welcoming, 
friendly and funny, 
outgoing and optimistic,
intelligent and inspirational soul.
She is a driven, diligent, and dedicated leader 
who sets the example of a warm demander. 
People are instantly drawn to her 
because her attitude and actions 
generate genuine happiness.

So Jodi, grab your tissues; 
I'm dedicating this clip to you.
Riches aren't measured by how much you have, 
but by how much you give.
Thank you for giving so freely and for being
someone special in my life. 

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