On Tuesday, October 12, when I received this email, my jaw fell to the floor. Talk about being humbled. With the author's permission, I'm reprinting most of it here, including the bits of wisdom contained in her email signature.
Good to meet you today.
I have been drawn to your photo in the advertiser and drawn to your personality when reading articles about you and what can only be described as your organic ministry.
When I traveled home on a different route tonight, rte #41, Winthrop to Readfield, I saw many of your campaign signs and I noted to my husband that I felt I knew some kinship to your heart and/or soul. He doesn't ever question these spiritual attachments, he has seen the fruit of them in our lives. It is so great to have a life partner that accepts even the quirky traits that make us who we are.
The real moment of confirmation was when we arrived home and pulled into the driveway after this conversation. A car going in the opposite direction pulled to the side of the road, waited for a semi to pass and turned around pulling in the driveway behind us. It was you and Jop. I proclaimed that I was on my way inside to call you to ask you a few questions. It seems a little incredulous but it is very common for this type of thing to happen to me. We talked only slightly as you were sensitive to the fact we had just arrived home, but in that short time, it validated the draw. In person I instantly knew something was meant to be.
We are very excited about your campaign and would like to know if there is something we can do to help.
Our children were raised in Readfield and have both graduated from UMO. My son Jacob graduated from Maranacook at 16 and received his doctorate in Theoretical Physics when 25yrs old. His inspiration was Steve D'Angelis, Tyler's father. Jacob was invited to Oxford University to do a post doctorate in conformal field theory and he and his new wife moved to England. They were there nearly three years and had our first grand daughter, Acadia Loveday Simmons, while there. They relocated to Chicago when he accepted a second post doc position at Chicago University. They have had their second daughter, Aurora Rose, and have become vegetarian locavores. They are environmentally conscientious and recycle everything, all belongings included.
Our daughter, Casey, is an artist and earned a degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. She did the murals in the pediatric practice in Winthrop. She graduated and then spent the following year in Alabama building houses for Habitat for Humanity. She is an animal rights activist and an environmentalist. She is currently employed at LL Bean. She walks the streets of Readfield with her garbage stick, picking up trash in her spare time. She accepts that some of her classmates feel she is a crazy 'tree hugger'. She has also become a vegetarian passionate about organic consumption and sustainable living.
Of course we are very proud of them, we raised them to be givers. But the reason I go (brag) on and on is because the state of Maine is a difficult place for well-educated young people to find employment. I think the mindset of the state is becoming more open, and educated professionals are finding some employment opportunities, but kind, gentle teaching and exampling is still needed to inspire others to want change and to evoke acceptance and progression.
Now, I believe that in America you can ascribe to your own beliefs as long as others are afforded the same considerations.
I am not saying that all people need to be OK with gay marriage, I am saying that they do need to accept that some people are.
I am not saying no one can eat chicken nuggets (though why??? would they?) I am simply saying at least try whole responsibly grown, organic foods.
And, I am not saying that everyone must install solar panels, but at least be responsible enough to try to reduce your own carbon footprint.
I am sorry for the length of this email. I tried to trim it a bit but I am frustrated with the status quo.
Marcia Walls Simmons
P.S. I agree that Jop is the most exceptional physical therapist in the state. I know many people he has greatly helped.
My mother, who is dying of cancer, asked after Jop only Monday when we visited her in Bangor. She had Jop for PT in the nursing home in Winthrop over 5 years ago and his progress with her blew us away. She said she bet he could help her deal with her endless pain as he was a miracle worker. Yesterday we discussed this! My sister was there also and she said he had really helped her with shoulder pain as well. Yesterday! There just aren't that many coincidences.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” --Maya Angelou
In the end;
We will conserve only what we love,
We will love only what we understand,
and we will understand only what we are taught
We can change the world teaching goodness by example.