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#3 Lollipop Moments: Let "strangers" know their impact.

Updated: Apr 29

I reminded myself to tell people, when their actions have made a positive impact on my life.

Altruism in others, especially strangers, fosters the sparkle-moments that life and humans are meant to offer. At least, that's my take on it.

.....and man-oh-man did I lose my way with recognizing the sparkle around me...

But, guess what I figured out recently?

It never left. It was always there... I just wasn't letting it in. That part was up to me: Totally within my own control.

Sparkles never fail to exist. It is the human, who makes the choice to see it.

No matter how great or small an action is; a touch, a word, a gesture... It all matters.

I am remembering to foster it. Recognize it. Yell it at the people.

I wrote a letter two co-workers- I needed to tell them that they played (are playing) a huge role in my healing. And unless I tell them? They might never know how critical their actions were.. Lollipop moments for me. The sparkle.

I will share the letter here for you and throw a bug in your ear to shout out to someone who changed your life. They might just not know how critical their actions were.


Dear *********** and **********,

I have had nearly four months in my role with ***!! I am finding my way, and understanding where my skills and passions fit with the work that we do. I love the diversity of our team's background and expertise, and I am hopeful that I am offering a brick in the wall for the team.

I want to thank you. For throwing a positive force at me, in a time when I needed it the most.

You played (are playing) a significant role in my life- in the betterment of me; YOU boosted me out of and beyond a survival mode I had been existing in for quite some time. It matters that I tell you what you have done for me. You already know some of the story, but not all of it. So here goes..

I applied for the new position with *** at a very low point. I have lived almost my entire life UP, so my point in the DOWN is absolutely foreign to me... Interestingly (and ironically), I recognize and am grateful for my positive early childhood experiences, which I am certain built a solid foundation to pull from. Thank goodness, because at least I was able to hang on to some resilience and perseverance, even when I wanted to let go (Thanks mom and dad!).

Not long ago I made a drastic change and left a 20+ year career with ***, working with children and families. I was then hired into a position, which was so far away from what I knew... But I was eager and able to learn; so there I went.

6 weeks into that new job, my son was killed.

I thought I had made the biggest mistake, switching jobs just before Quincy died: I can write an EER and IEP in my sleep but learning a new job with zero brain capacity and no heart in the game of a new line of work, was a storm for disaster. I trudged along with *** for 10 more months; hoping a spark would come to me and that I could pull myself up and into some sort of dedication… I couldn’t.

One evening, in tears and on a whim, I popped onto the *** site, put in the words “Early Childhood,” and hit ENTER.

Your listing came up. I didn’t quite understand the position I was reading about. Some of the acronyms I hadn’t heard, and I didn’t know the complete picture of the role; but the match in qualifications was there: It screamed EARLY CHILDHOOD AND FAMILIES, and my heart did that flippy thing…

I kicked into a gear I hadn’t felt in a long while and jammed out a cover letter. Submit.

And then I got a call back. And then I got an interview. Woah.

When my screen popped up for the interview, there was this rush of relaxation in me… smiling, chunky glasses wearing, like-minded people were in front of me. And then… you talked about the position; I understood the language, and I understood the drive and the commitment of the people in front of me, that were knee deep in the work I so knew and missed. In the conversation before you offered me the job, you spoke to my skills directly, and had such faith in me. You had kind, uplifting, forward-moving things to say…

I accepted the job :) got off that call, and there I went sobbing again. Truth be told: I hadn’t heard such positivity, and been met with such a fierce passion for doing what was right in the workforce of civil service, in my personal or professional life, for what seemed like an eternity.

It is more than obvious to me; what my foundation for living my best life is. It’s my job. Important work. It’s what grounds me. It is what was missing in order for me to pick up and go in any forward direction AT ALL.

My work with children and families truly is what has made my life such a great one for so many many years. My career was one that work didn't feel like work; so I knew it was possible.

I had been feeling the worst kind of instability in every piece of my days, during the toughest time of my life. The very footings and foundation weren't there to stand firm for my crumbling me. My career.

You offered me the job. And then.. I met the team for lunch.

I knew you would ask me about my family... and I knew it would be a pivotal moment for me to tell Quincy’s story- for the first time... to strangers.

I was met with “The perfect people for that very first conversation.” It will stay with me forever. Tucked safely in my pocket. The energy and what came at me from you, will stay and always remind me that this beautiful world we have, is indeed a great one. The minute your response and reaction to my story flew out of you, was the same minute I started to rebuild some safety for me. The way you met my story, was critical in the development of my grief, and you taught me that telling my story is the way to go… The grace and humanity in front of me was a big deal for me. And a lesson for me to get back there. Full force sparkles-there was no NOT recognizing it :)

That “lollipop moment" has paved my way AWAY from so many fears. It was the beginning of confidence building, in how I “do this life.” It was the moment I learned that I have nothing to be afraid of.

You have no idea, how that interaction moved a mountain for me; moved me into doing the things I am doing now (in my grief)... Lollipop moment for me. You handed it to me.

It could have gone so differently.

Disaster struck all at once, it seemed: Daily work in a new-to-me and uncomfortable job, grief in the death of my son, and the loss of a 23-year marriage four months after my son’s death…Woah.

I’m not spilling this list of yuks to look for: "POOR MEs".. I know it's a lot- but the focus is where I am NOW, and where I am going. It really is all that matters; and the only way to go.

I’m WELL aware now of the bread and butter in me … this new job allows me the opportunity to stick my feet on the ground and feel good about how I am making my way in this world. I took a deep breath, just days into the role!

~ and all of a sudden remembered again that this world is GOOD.

Over the course of (in the grand scheme of things) a very brief period of time, I teetered right to the edge. 44/46 years of beauty on this earth, and it took a smidge of time to almost tank my perspectives and beliefs.... Conditioned and taught through catastrophes, moved me towards the belief that the world is a bad, untrustworthy, unpredictable and gross place.

Hey-I said... almost.

I am not staying there. It is an awful place to be.

ROOTED....A job and people that are allowing me to plant my feet forcefully down and in. It's made the difference between me surviving and living.

-This team is the reason my brain is not misfiring, the reason I’m smiling, the reason I feel passion and motivation in so many other parts of my life. The reason my anxiety is better, the reason depression isn’t bringing me to my knees. It started with a whim application… moving through to this team offering me my dream job; in the realm of where I know goodness to be, being met with kindness. Every single day that has followed, brings more and more.

I got a request the other day from someone asking for help on some data they needed organized…They were routed to me~BUCKET FILLER. Listening to all of these beautiful people with ideas for change in Early childhood ~BUCKET FILLER. Using skills of mine that I know give me strength~ BUCKET FILLER. Being met with such grace and positivity, in a political world that can be so overwhelming; well, I know I’m where I need to be.

It’s important that I spit this story out to you, because in four months’ time, I have seen parts of me that I thought may be gone forever. In my world of hurt, when I was almost convinced that the universe would never look out for me again… It did.

And the reason? You.

Thank you for taking a chance on me. Thank you for welcoming me in the way that you have. Thank you for being the reason that in my time of confusion and disarray, I have such peace, focus, drive, and forward movement.

Lollipop moments? Take 6 minutes to watch...It's an oldie, but goodie...

We "Celebrate birthdays... and yet we let people who have made our lives better walk around without knowing it.....You have made someone's life better by something you said or something you did....Maybe the biggest impact I had ever had on anyone's life....was a moment I didn't even remember."


From the bottom of my heart, (And Go MIECHV and HHS!!!)


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