Connecting The Dots

In my last blog I wrote about being in the Right Place at the Right Time. Well, this past week I experienced a continuation of the effect with the mottoes, ‘Connecting the Dots’, ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ and ‘It’s a Small World.’

As some of you know, I spend my ‘day job’ as a Human Resources professional. Last week I was able to spend a few days at a local HR conference. The conferences usually consist of breakout sessions related to learning and development topics, as well as Keynote Speakers. This conference was no different…

On the Thursday evening before the second day of the conference, Bryce was showing me a new book he brought home, a Star Wars – Jedi Academy book. I didn’t really think much of it. Bryce loves to read and these types of books are right up his alley.

That next morning (Friday), on the second day of the conference, I was debating whether I should go or not. I was so busy at work, and it was going to be hard for me to be out of the office another day. Plus, the kids had dentist appointments that morning…however, just as life goes on – I decided to go. Work could wait and I could trust my husband to take the kids to their appointments. And I am glad that I went as I experienced one of the most inspiring Keynote Speakers that very morning.

I was a little late as usual, or as I like to call it ‘right on time’ – I heard the introduction of the speaker, his name was Jarrett Krosoczka. In the introduction, they gave a brief bio, which included being an children’s book author and illustrator. This immediately grabbed my interest given our work on ‘Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing.’

As Jarrett spoke, he was greatly charismatic and engaging. He had people laughing and also brought them to tears. During most of his speech, he talked about his road to becoming a published author and one of his greatest accomplishments of the Lunch Lady book series.jjk2 jjk

While he spoke about the Lunch Lady, it became so relatable to what Eric and I are trying to do with Cancer Canknot and our book, Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing. The Lunch Lady became more than just a book series, but a way to inspire many others on the importance that everyone has a purpose – including the lunch lady. It has expanded to be much more than just a book….

As I sat there and listened I began to think of all the things that we have done and what more we could do with our book and help the healthcare and cancer community – it was just the inspiration I needed.

At the end of his speech, he talked about a few other projects that he was involved in and as I looked at the marketing flyer, one of them caught my eye – he was the author of Jedi Academy – A New Class, that very book that Bryce brought home the day before… everything happens for a reason….what was the reason Bryce picked the Jedi Academy book – coincidence?

As I looked for follow him on social media, I was reading through his Twitter posts. One of them mentioned the loss of Anna Dewdney, as it seems the two of them shared the same publisher. For any of you with children, you probably know Anna  from the Llama Llama book series. What you may not know is that Anna, lived in a Southern Vermont town called Chester, Vermont – the same town that I grew up in….what a small world.

When Eric and I first wrote our children’s book, we had reached out to Anna to illustrate it. We told her our story and that it was inspired through Eric’s diagnosis with brain cancer. Anna was unable to illustrate it at the time, given some of her other commitments, but she wished us great luck in the process.

On September 3rd , Anna Dewdney passed away from a 15 month battle with brain cancer.

So on that Friday morning, with what started as uncertainty in attending the seminar, fully turned inspiration of ‘Everything Happens for a Reason and It’s *such* a Small Word. It was that very day that I connected so many dots, personally and professionally.

Through my inspiration I have been invigorated and know that we are trying to do with Cancer Canknot has a purpose, and I can only hope that one day our story will be as inspiring to someone else as I felt on Friday morning, September 9th.



(My Selfie with Jarrett)

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