Google is the omniscient presence in the internet world and the bringer of all knowledge. I am thoroughly addicted and reliant on my good friend Google and don't go a day without spending at least a little time with him. (Him? I don't know, just go with it)
One of the things that I rely on Google for are quotes. Poignant quotes. Smart and witty quotes. Quotes that someone else thought up, but I can
Today is my friend Joanna's birthday. She's eeeking a little bit farther into those numbers that start with a three, and every day making more of an impact on the world. And when I say making an impact, I mean it. Out of everyone I know, Jo is the person who has focused her life on making sure others -- primarily children -- get a fair shake at life.
And I've needed a quote. One that sums up a devoted life. A life that has changed the course for those who can't change their own course. There are kids who will grow up to make good choices and be good parents and raise good kids because of the programs they were put in, or the funds that were raised on their behalf, or the opportunities that were made available to them. And those kids will never know Joanna's name. Or recognize her face. But they will benefit from her ideas-come-to-life, endless energy, and sheer determination that their world would be better.
Joanna was our inspiration and encouragement for pursuing foster parenting. She raises money that supplements what foster parents can't afford (think braces, cheer outfits, birthday parties -- things most kids get without a second thought). If you saw her "resume" of life-changing, world-changing contributions, you'd be amazed. But if you could see her heart, you'd be even moreso. Because her impact doesn't come from a pursuit of accomplishment, it comes from honest concern and love.
That honest concern and love makes her a pretty incredible friend. One of those that my world just wouldn't function without. And her love extends past her girlfriends. She loves our children. She remembers our husbands' birthdays even when we forget. And she'll drive outside-the-loop to have dinner at my house or hang out with ChellBell.
So the quote?
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”
Thank you, Erma Bombeck, for finding the perfect words to describe Joanna. Who lives every ounce out of life and loves even bigger. And makes a difference.
To truly one of the most fantastic women I know, I am lucky to love you and call you friend.