Mad for…Jake

Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how. (Unknown)

When a gal finds herself with yet another high school freshman boy living in her home (in fact the third and final freshman in our family) one quickly remembers that on the “social” spectrum in life, there’s really not a lower spot on which to be located. Being a ninth grade boy can be a tad rough in spots, and there is simply no way to avoid the awkward. Thankfully, it’s quite temporary! However, this is why I am trying in an intentional way this year to highlight some of these terrific young men, lest they forget how amazing they are. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the handsome and very sunny Jacob Modleski! He’s pictured, above left, with his friend and fellow OLMC grad, Bryce Kreiner.

Jake is a 9th grader at Guerin Catholic High School. As I understand it, this phenomenal kiddo is attempting to take on three sports this year for the Golden Eagles. Since he’s both athletic and quite bright, I feel like the kid has a fair chance to accomplish this task and be successful at soccer, basketball and golf too!!

Outgoing, intelligent and funny, Jake is a friendly young man. In fact, a mutual friend, Claudine Kreiner, shared with me this afternoon that two of her boys consider Jacob to be another older brother, so gifted and welcoming is he with younger children. Also, as uncool as I tend to be trying to force 15 year-olds to have awkward conversations with me, Jacob has several times humored me just long enough that I have been able to discern that he is a very articulate boy. He is impossible to miss, because he just shines!

A goalie for the Freshman and JV soccer teams this fall, Jake has become remarkably successful at the sport in rather fast fashion. This, I assume, is largely due to his fast feet, great hands and plenty of competitive fire. He loves to fish, and the kid knows how to strike a golf ball! He’s been both helpful and encouraging in this sport to our Zach who is a less experienced, but enthusiastic golfer.

Jake is the son of Matt and Dianne Modleski and he has an older brother, Keaton, who graduated from GCHS last spring. Jake, I just wanted to take a moment today to let you know that I’ve been keeping my eye on you for a couple years now and it’s become very apparent to me that you are a fantastic young man, full of character and integrity. As a team mate, you’re top notch too. I love, love, love how you always keep things positive, loose and how you cheer loudly for the guys around you! Keep up the good work, kid…and GO GOLDEN EAGLES!!

Mad for…Pam

Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts.

Tonight, I attended the Guerin Catholic High School production of “The Little Mermaid.” So many talented and enthusiastic young people were involved in this play, and it truly was an adventure in joyful noise! Among the stars of the show were two former SLDM ladies, Annabelle and Lindsey Bork. Goodness, these two ladies are full of personality…and WOW…beautiful voices! Their pretty terrific dad is a handsome guy named, Jason, but today I’d like to tell you more about their beautiful mom, Pam!

The mom of four great kids, Grant, Annabelle, Lindsey and Stella, Pam is incredibly supportive and loving as a mother. What else? I once went to a Luke Bryan concert with Pam and Jason, and it’s then that I learned Pam is from southern Indiana– maybe she said Jeffersonville? In any case, the woman enjoys music and she knows how to laugh and have a good time! See the photo above and tell me I’m wrong? Impossible, right? Over the years, I’ve watched her parent her children from afar and I’ve noticed her faithful heart. Mostly, though, what stands out for me about Pam is that she is just plain kind.

She’s completely genuine, the type of person who does lovely things for others because of who she is, and not because of what she might receive in return. She keeps it simple. Pam just does the next right thing.

A successful person to me is being good-hearted, authentic, curious and thoughtful. It’s a bonus if you also know how to laugh and misbehave just a little. Pam Bork is all those things. I’ve watched her shower sunshine on her own very blessed children, random grade school kiddos she was serving in a volunteer capacity, and on moms in the carpool line who just needed a hug or a smile. Among them, yours truly.

This gal is a truly fantastic human being. That’s why this evening as I watched her daughter, Annabelle, completely sparkle in the role of “Ariel” in the Little Mermaid, then when I spotted her sassy girl Lindsey on stage singing with her sister…well I smiled for her good fortune. Nothing makes a mom’s heart sing like seeing their children happy doing what they love! It was a moment I know she will always cherish. She deserved that moment because she’s one of those people I have always noticed from my nearby perch who is just the salt of the earth.

I read this quote today, and it made me think of Pam, who numerous times made my day in during that 16-year run I had in the SLDM carpool line by taking a moment to share an affirmation or even just tell me something positive she noticed about one of my sons. We all need those unexpected moments of consolation! If all women affirmed the ladies around them like Pam does, this world would be next level amazing. So, I’ll finish my post today by sharing a quote I love and saying THANK YOU PAM BORK for showing us all what character, integrity and kindness are meant to look like. Kindness oozes right out your eyeballs, and it’s just incredibly beautiful. Color me inspired! BRAVO!

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” (Bob Kerrey)