Saturday, February 6, 2010

A very active and busy Marthe Legault

This morning I received a wonderful e-mail from Marthe. We share many things including the same birthday - on March 28th Marthe will be 85 years young! She drives, plays bridge twice a week, has seasons tickets to SENS games, has 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Even though French is her first language Marthe composed the following e-mail and I just had to share it with you. (She is J.C. Legault's mother and you can read about him on page 133 of my latest book.)

"Dear Carol Ann

I heard about Carol Ann Cole twelve years ago when my son J.C. (my Jean-Claude) offered me a Comfort Heart and told me about a woman who had experienced cancer, along with her mother. I admired you then, but nothing compared to what I feel for you now that I have read you book. On our last New Year's family reunion, my dear son gave a copy of your book to every one of us - me, his sister and brothers. More than admiration, I now feel love and respect for you. Needless to say we all began reading on page 133! Yes, we all knew than since the death of my husband in 1991, Jean-Claude was struggling through his illness while always being the successful man in his work, the strong man of the family, the perfect and devoted father, the attentive son to his mother's needs and the attentive big brother and uncle. The shocking reflection I had in reading Jean-Claude's testimonial was realizing that through all his life,as a mother, I failed to understand the hell my son was living through until he met "his angel Elaine."

I am so grateful to you for giving to my family, my friends and everyone who will read your book, the opportunity to know J.C. as he really is and to be inspired by his strength of character and his Faith in God.

Your book brings so much love, comfort and courage to all your readers with all the testimonies of so many people you have met in your life. The story of your full life of courage, faith and perserverance is a tonic to the reader. Your incredible sense of humour and your positive way of facing your personal problems is so refreshing.

I wish with all my heart that one day I will have the pleasure and the honour to be present at one of your conferences.

The only subject I disagree with you on is your love for the Toronto Maple Leafs! I would rather say, "Go Ottawa Sens Go!"

God bless you,

Marthe Legault"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life can change in a minute

A friend of mine, a wonderful young women I worked with at Bell, lost her battle with cancer this week. She leaves behind a wonderful husband and beautiful twin daughters - life is not fair.

Bonnie, I know you are reading my blog from "above" and will always be watching over us. You left us too soon but we will catch up with you one day - thanks for all that you brought to my life and to the lives of so many others. Like everyone who knew you, I am very sad today.

Life really can change in a minute. Work on your bucket list this weekend!

Carol Ann

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Importance of Soft Skills

Many, if not all, of my presentations include a discussion on what I call the "soft skills." The skills that life teaches us as we carve our way in the world...small things like calling others by name; a pat on the back when a peer has had a bad day; or a call to a friend who we want to speak with today not tomorrow. (And ingoring that voice in our head saying, "It's her turn to call me.")

I believe any success I have enjoyed in life is in part due to my Maritime roots and my attention to these soft skills. A few days ago I received an e-mail from a former student at Middleton Regional High School. Karen is younger than I so she was a few years behind me in school - meaning our paths did not cross on a daily basis. After not seeing Karen since approximately 1964 her e mail arrived - I am humbled to know that she remembers my belief in soft skills from so many years ago. Her e-mail is proof that it truly is the small stuff that people remember us for. I will reconnect with Karen this summer at our MRHS Reunion. In part, Karen's e-mail reads as follows -

"...I picked up your latest book. Please let me say how proud I am of your many accomplishments. But the one thing that stands out the most for me is how down-to-earth you have stayed throughout it all. I remember being at high school and how you were one of the few seniors who would speak to me on a regular basis when we passed in the hall. I was enthralled with the compassion, openness and sincerity that came out in your discriptions of your battle with cancer. I also appreciated the chapter on what to say and not to say when someone you know is going through the battle. Again thank you for all that you do for those around you.

Karen Hasse January 31, 2010"