How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you know?
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I think I found out last week.
The passing of the most amazing lady I have ever met brought the LIFE OF NO REGRETS….to life!
Jacqueline Lewis, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and my personal mentor passed away at the young age of 32 years old, leaving four beautiful children and a beautiful husband as well. But the legacy she left is a true sign of Living the Life of NO Regrets!
A funeral attended by over 1,000 people (in the middle of a Michigan blizzard with white out conditions and icy roads) and viewed by webcast by over 13,000 people begins to tell the story that Jackie lived. I can say I have never been to a funeral that ended in a standing ovation! I have never been to a funeral where we had ‘leopard loops’ on our lapels to honor the ‘wild side’ of Jackie (she loved animal prints), I have never been to a funeral that ended with a testimony by the deceased that has brought many to Christ and will continue to long after she’s gone (which has been viewed by over 10,000 people all over the world) and I have never been to a funeral where a beautiful child stands at the side of her momma’s ‘hope chest’, laying peacefully at rest, praying and looking through a muted cloth at the mother she loved so dearly.
This family had the pleasure of having their Momma next to their side 100% of the time. She didn’t have to leave every day to punch a clock. She home-schooled her children (rumor has it she had a thing for the principal too-wink, wink) took them to their extra activities, attended their events and was always there at their side. The only time Jackie truly left them was when she was out helping families achieve this same lifestyle. To help them take the steps to be a stay at home mom or dad. To experience waking up to your child, not an alarm clock. And what is truly amazing is that her husband was there all day too! They had a life many dream of and think is never achievable. But it is, and for Bill and Jackie Lewis it was!
Jackie was more than just a great friend…she was my mentor. Even though her age was that of my own children, she had the life I was striving for. The solution is to learn from those who have what you desire. LIFE Leadership focuses on what we call, “Define, Learn, Do”… define what you want, learn from someone who has those results and go out and do what they did. It is very unique and very seldom popular amongst business owners. It would create competition and they don’t want that! But with LIFE Leadership we create leaders and help families go from good to great. It doesn’t matter how many of those you have, great leaders or great families…you never have enough!
Jackie was my ‘go to’ person. Any questions I had she was just a text or phone call away. Her absence has already been felt in so many ways. I am thankful for this leadership group that in the absence of Jackie there are still many other women I can ‘go to’ and get the same advice. But Jackie….well, we had a great connectiveness (is that a word?) that will be forever missed. I will miss her texts…her “baaahhhaaaas”, her “suck it up cupcakes”, her “put on your big girl panties”, her “what’s up chica” and her “amen sista” and mostly her funny videos of people falling and tripping (thank God nobody got videos of her and I falling!) I know any one of us women who were privileged to know Jackie and to have her in our life will feel the same.
Jackie was not my idol…she was my mentor. She was an example of a great wife, a great mom, a great leader and a great friend. I recently read in this fantastic book, PAiLS-20 Years From Now What Will You Wish You Had Done Today?, by best-selling author Chris Brady, that art is a perfect metaphor of how we should build our lives. Art is to beheld by gazing upon it. I gazed upon Jackie…I watched her move, I watched her speak, I watched her be a mom and a wife, I watched her converse with people from every walk of life….I observed her. (No I didn’t stalk her-teehee) I watched her because I wanted to have the results she had and her actions spoke louder than words. As Chris Brady put it in his book, “People may listen to what we say, but they put much more stock in what they observe that we actually do.” Jackie was a doer.
To my friend Jackie…I will ache for the emptiness in my heart, for the piece of “living art” that you displayed daily, for the silliness of your contagious laughter. I will thank God daily for the memories, the many lessons I learned from you and from watching you, the pictures, the videos, the special day when we achieved our goal of Round Table and was brought to stage by you and Bill, the trip to Vegas, Florida and many other destinations. I will thank God for answering our prayers to go to a million people, because I know in my heart YOU were his BEST SHOT to get there with the most impact on thousands of lives. And I will especially thank God that He chose me to be your friend.
Please keep Jackie’s husband Bill, and four children, Jacob, Eli, Bella and Nemo(Nihimiah), along with her family and many business partners and friends, in prayer for this huge loss in their lives.
You were my example of the Fruits of the Spirit…
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
So the question for you today is ‘are you truly living a life of NO REGRETS?’ because I know someone who was and I will strive to live that way until my final day of rest shall come. We never know when that day may come. There is a TOO LATE….it’s just not TOO LATE….yet! (Thanks again Chris!)
God Bless you all….