Eilene Whitt Jessup

I remember the first time I saw my daughter Hollie sing in public. It wasn’t the first time I had heard her warble like a baby song bird because, like her mama, she sang all the time…while playing with her toys, in the bathtub, walking to the park, in the backseat of that old Pontiac to the radio which were likely totally inappropriate songs for a small child to be listening to. She had a beautiful voice I used to proudly tell myself which was no surprise because DNA. Then one Sunday evening, standing in front of an audience with her Bible School choir, at the encouragement of her teacher, little Hollie stepped up to a microphone and sang the sweetest little chorus ALL BY HERSELF!!!

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

In Your Word I praise…

And I literally burst into tears because…MY BABY GIRL!!! And OMG I had no idea she was going to sing a solo!!! And MY BABY GIRL!!!

I will never forget that moment, as mothers do.

I will also not soon forget the wonderful woman who gave Hollie the wink and nod as she encouraged her to sing the song that she taught her. I met Eilene shortly before Hollie was born. Her calming presence coupled with her quick wit was something I couldn’t help be drawn to. As time passed, most of our time together was spent with music…so much music because we both loved music. But beyond the music there was Eilene encouraging, mentoring all with positive kindness. When I thanked Eilene for the wonderful surprise that was Hollie’s solo, she smiled and told me that she couldn’t imagine anyone else who could emphasize that we must TRUST the way that little Hollie did.

Eilene was the kind of person who led, taught, loved, encouraged by example. Always patient. Always kind.

When I was a young mother trying to balance marriage, mommy-life and career, Eilene was an example to me as a woman who successfully balanced her life as wife, mom, grandmother (which all who knew her knew she was overjoyed adding that title) and business woman. She had a busy travel agency. in San Jose…back in the day before we all could research, plan and book our own travel thanks to the interwebs. When I planned MY very first trip to Disneyland…and Hollie’s and Zoë’s…Eilene was who I turned to. She offered all kinds of advice and options that would work for our little family while we vacationed with our kindergartener and 9 month old and she created what was the most wonderful first real family vacation package for us at Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, San Diego Wild Animal Park and a few other points of interest along the way. The cherry on top was the lovely, welcome to our vacation card from her waiting for us at the front desk of the hotel where we stayed during our juggling away from home adventure. Upon our return, when I thanked her for helping to plan such  wonderful family memories she smiled and thanked me back saying she just wanted it to be something special for us.

Earlier this week, after a life well lived, Eilene passed away. Naturally with someone as special as she, the tributes literally flooded my social media stream. With someone as special as she this was no surprise. I have read them all so far and have found myself even more fond of someone who truly was an example for anyone on how to live a life and truly succeed.

Blessing and love, Eilene! Thank you for your inspiration, guidance and, always, your love.

Eilene Whitt Jessup, May 16, 1936 – January 25, 2016

 

love and loved in return

Happy birthday favorite son, the fourteenth edition!

Another year to celebrate. Another year to reflect on the miracle that he is and not just because he started life so precariously. The miracle is every day he manages to touch so many with kindness, respect and love in a way that is truly an art…an art lost to so many of us…an art he teaches all who are lucky enough to know him…The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return – eden ahbez

Sad over the news of the passing of “the Father of all of us freaks”, but so thankful for his cover of eden ahbez’s Nature Boy…and for all the rest of the magical stardust that he shared with us all.

 

 

because your friends it can wait

MAJOR pet peeve of mine….MAJOR…guaranteed to set my teeth to grind and mutter an expletive or two…perhaps more…MAJOR pet peeve of mine is distracted driving.

OH.

MY

GAWD.

IT CAN WAIT!!!!

We all see it. Perhaps some of us are guilty of it. Certain family members and friends I am looking at you. Lady at the school drop off yesterday morning I tapped my horn at you. Redneck Bubba in the pickup truck driving up 99, I glared at you when I changed lanes to pass you and you were in the fast lane. Lady in the ‘cedes sitting at the GREEN light this morning, yes, I was yelling at you.

IT!

CAN!

WAIT!

As I write this, one of my daughters is preparing to attend a memorial service.

It can wait.

For those who might be keeping score, this will be the second funeral for a friend that she must attend within the last three months. Yes, she agrees that this is two more funerals for people in their 20s too many for her to be attending. Today she will be saying goodbye to a friend who died three days before his 25th birthday.

It can wait.

Her friend was a father, a fiancé, a hard working business owner. He was a good friend to many and someone not afraid to show kindness to anyone and everyone.

It can wait.

My daughter’s friend died while working, traveling in a car with a business partner. The car he was traveling in was T-boned by a pickup truck driver….a distracted driver.

It can wait.

So today a gentle giant of a young man is dead. His little girl will grow up without her daddy. The love of his life is no longer planning a wedding but is preparing to bury her love. Parents, siblings, friends and business partners are saying goodbye to a much loved and respected human being who has inspired all to live like him.

It can wait.

I look at one of the many pictures my daughter posted in remembrance of her friend and all I can think as I see these bright, shiny, happy young faces is so much promise of so much life to live…so much life to live.

People, put the god damn phone away.

It can wait.