In 2015, my dear friend Jinny Mae (sometimes I referred to her as Jinnie Mae), was on the receiving end of an ominous cancer diagnosis. She underwent all sorts of treatments, including a Stem Cell transplant, and showed incredible bravery as she faced each set back with tenacity.
Yesterday, she lost the fight. The world has lost an incredible woman who was an engineer, not only in career, but in person and in community. I always think of engineers as seeing black and white, but Jinny Mae saw the gray areas and mastered them with her wit and creativity. She was an historian and a naturalist and a warm, inviting friend. She taught me to slow down and ask questions, to stop for great periods and pause and ponder.
Together we made discoveries and accepted the fact that the answers weren’t always obvious.
We laughed. We noticed. We questioned. We laughed some more.
I’m sad, but at the same time grateful about the fact that I got to wander and wonder with Jinny Mae on so many occasions.
Her path has changed, but I suspect she’ll continue to guide mine and for that I’ll be forever thankful.
On your new path, Jinny Mae, beginning with a dandelion–may you find bright spots along the way.
If stonewalls are placed in front of you, may you pause like the tortoise and then continue your journey in a steadfast manner.
Should there be moments when you must curl up, may they be followed by . . .
times when you’ll slowly unfurl.
May you spread your wings again and again.
May you feel new life flow through your veins,
and embrace tender moments.
May you always be wowed by the little things,
especially those that have been there all along but somehow you missed until now.
At the end of the day, may the moon and stars embrace you and remind the rest of us that you are only a whisper away.