• Jodi Samuels

What Really Counts In Life



I am the quintessential type-A personality and being somewhat highly strung comes with the territory. Before Caily was born, I would get stressed about situations, freak out when things were not perfect, feel my blood pressure rise and, of course, there were the tears too. So running a JICNY event would be all consuming.


That was all before Caily was born on Feb 25th 2008. We were the happy couple sending status updates on facebook from entering labor to birth announcements. Two days later, the pediatrician asked me, “Mrs. Samuels, did you have genetic testing during your pregnancy?” I was in pain from three cesareans but I sat bolt upright – I knew what he was going to tell me. Somehow G-d gave us an incredible amount of strength and we were able to put the news, “Mrs. Samuels, your baby has Down syndrome” in context. Just one hour after hearing the news, I looked at Gavin and said that we open our home to the lost, the lonely, recovering anorexics, problem teenagers, you name it. I said to him, “If you were G-d, would you not have chosen this home for this Neshama?” I really felt that anything but unconditional acceptance and the lives we were leading would be a lie. Slovie Wolff, my friend and teacher, gave us an incredible amount of perspective too. Friends who came to the hospital that night can testify they walked into a perfectly calm and happy environment and they had no idea about the bomb shell we would share. This life changing event also changed me and my ability to cope with stress. I have an incredible ability to reframe and stay super calm. No visceral reaction – just calm, controlled perspective.


I have had this tested many times and I am always so amazed at my ability to no longer sweat the small stuff. Last week, my friend was driving our car – I was the passenger – and she hit a truck. I did not even react – I was so calm that she thought I was faking it. When we stopped the car and saw that the bang was rather large, I was still unaffected. At the end of the day, it’s just a car.


Caily, thank you for helping me understand what is important in the world.


Metroimmas, please share any challenges that have made you reconsider your perspective about life…


Originally posted: December 15, 2010

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