My Friend, Jodie

I've got this college friend that I'm so proud of. Did you ever know someone that you just knew would make a big difference in her world? Someone that had courage and determination and was going to chase down her dreams, no matter what?

Well, I have this friend and her name is Jodie. We met back in 1987 on the volleyball court at Moody. We both made the team and spent plenty of time laughing together over lots of silliness on our long trips home from tournaments.

While I have lots of fun memories, the most vivid memory of Jodie is from January 1st, 1992. There was a van load coming back to Chicago from a trip to Colorado to bury a friend who had committed suicide Christmas Day, 1991. I was in the van with 12 others, and Jodie and 3 others followed behind in a little car. At some point early in the morning our van lost control and ended up rolling over and crashing in the area between the two sides of the highway. Myself and a couple others went, via ambulance, to a tiny rural hospital. Jodie came along behind in the car, to make sure we were all okay. I remember lying flat on a gurney in an open room in the hospital and turning to see Jodie coming into the room. I remember saying, "Jodie," and she came walking over quite quickly and the next thing I knew she hit the gurney and I went flying into the wall. Of all the memories of Jodie, this one makes me laugh the most. She felt terrible, but within seconds we were laughing, wondering why the nurse hadn't locked the darn gurney wheels.

She's one of those friends that while I haven't seen her in years and years, I've been praying for her very regularly, because she chose to fight for our freedom by joining the Marines, serving two tours in Iraq.Yep, she's a Marine and proud of it, AS SHE SHOULD BE. Military history runs through her veins, with her dad and grandfather both serving our Country. Over the last several years I was often asked, "Do you know anyone in Iraq?" and I would instantly and proudly say, "Yes, I do. Her name is Jodie and she's a Marine fighting for our freedom and the freedom of the Iraqi people."


I've been wanting to post about Jodie for some time now, because she has a heart for those in desperate situations. She encountered, up close and personally, those lost in hopelessness and she wants to do something about it and IS doing something about it.


Jodie has recently launched a website called "One Starry Nite" that is focused on doing small business development in order to help women where there is the most need. She works directly with humanitarian organizations that start small businesses to employ all or mostly all, women. The goods that they make are on sale on her website. She works in Indonesia (a personal favorite of mine, having lived there for 3 years), Turkey, Jordan, China and Afghanistan currently, but are branching out to other countries. Her ultimate goal is to start an NGO (humanitarian organization) to work in concert with One Starry Night… The NGO would build homes in Afghanistan to provide women a refuge -- a place to work and live.

Check out her website and see what one woman is doing to help countless women around the world. I continue to be so proud of you, Jodie! You ARE making a difference and I love it when people choose to get up and do something about the injustice in the world.
Oh, and I know I've said it before, but THANK YOU for serving for my freedom, so that I could raise Maddie and Jackson in a free country. I don't take that freedom for granted.

Comments

Connie said…
I'd totally forgotten that you were at House's funeral and there for the van wreck. I was in the van! I landed upside down three rows up with my head on the ground and my "back end" in Fud's face. I was really embarrassed. It's been such a long time ago, I totally blanked that you were there! I totally love what Jodie is doing as well. I keep in touch with Paul's Mom. In fact, I just got a letter from her this summer. Anyway...hope you are well! School started today..woo hoo!
Alysa said…
you were in the van? wow - i have no recollection of you being there. that seems like so long ago ... how is paul's mom? so sad.
Connie said…
Paul's Mom is doing OK. She had to have her foot amputated due to some infection stuff she's been dealing with. My parents and the House's have been friends for a lot of years. Paul's Dad died like a year after Paul died. They've been through a lot..but are such a testimony. Were you in the front seat in the van? I remember someones hands going through the window. I just remember picking pizza and glass out of my curly early 90's hair! That was a rough time for all of us...
Alysa said…
i was in the first row of bench seats, closest to the front ... my body went out the glass behind Mike (driver) and Denise went out the other side, behind Kilty who was in the front passenger seat.... that was a rough time. i remember Jodie and others in the car behind us saying that both denise and my body came back into the van, as it was rolling, right before we would have been crushed. kind of freaky to think about it now .... God really did spare all of our lives - no reason for any of us to be alive other than He wanted us to live.

sorry to hear about Mrs. House - i guess I didn't realize you were from CO - is that where you grew up?

yes, pizza everywhere - wasn't that crazy - i mean, literally, EVERYWHERE ... and another vivid memory from that accident, when the van up-righted and came to a stop, Kilty turned around and had "blood" all over his face and entire body .... and then we realized it was his red cough syrup - he had been totally sick and was guzzling nyquil the whole trip back from CO. very funny. i need to facebook him and remind him of that memory ....
Connie said…
I was sitting in the next to the back row. I remember that Dale and Rochelle were in the very back laying on top of all the luggage. With each roll, they got smushed by the luggage. I vaugely remember being shuttled by strangers to a local restaurant where we stayed until a church got word that we were stranded there. We got to stay in the churches basement. I just remember the whole thing happened in slow motion.

My family lives in the Denver. I drove back to MBI with the group, but I did not drive out there with you all, obviously because I was already there. We had a bunch of people stay at my folks home and my Mom fed us a few meals.

I remember sitting in choir loft on the stage during the ceremony. I also have this memory of us all stopping at a random 'bar' at midnight new years and we were NOT welcome.

Man, that was a lot of years ago. It took me a long time to feel safe in a van at winter....

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