Before I met Jean I wandered through the darkness, occasionally there were streaks of brilliance that lit up my hemisphere, but they were fleeting and the blackness fused back together as swiftly as they shot through it, absorbing their glittering trails absolutely with its suffocating density. I did not know how to breathe, and although I knew the light was somewhere out there, I could not find its source. Jean’s was the light that lit my way until I see it for myself, and now that I have been shown a way out of the darkness, I can see my own light reflected in the brilliance of hers.
In the few short months I have known Jean, she has become a true friend, teacher, counselor and my guide along a path I have been searching for all my life. At the age of 42, I have been in some kind of therapy or other since I was about 11. I sought help in so many guises, and each time with hope that maybe this time, it would work and I would find a therapist, or a counselor who would help me – save me from the darkness, show me the light and a way to be in it – to change things and make the world the wonderful place that instinctively I knew it had the potential to be – each time clinging to the ebbing hope, someday I would finally find the person who would help me find happiness, who would show me how to keep the looming shadows at bay, to once and for all cage the beast that hounded me, lying in wait, for any opportunity to drag me back into the abyss.
Jean did something for me that no one else has been able to do; she didn’t give me a fish, when I was starving – she taught me how to fish so that when hunger strikes I can feed myself. She didn’t rescue me from the darkness, she taught me how to rescue myself so that I could finally throw off the shroud, it would cloak me in, should I give it an opportunity to do so. Sometimes I stumble – like a child learning to walk, I am discovering how to balance, enthralled by the wonder of a life filled with light and joy. When these momentary lapses occur, Jean’s gentle, loving and supportive presence steadies me, as she walks beside me – a luminous constant in the ever changing landscape of my reality, and my life today.
Jean is the teacher who appeared when this student was ready. I would say that Jean is a light in the darkness, but since I met her there hasn’t been much of it. My hemisphere is becoming incandescent, and the occasional streaks of darkness that shoot through it, combust almost instantaneously, fueling the light that consumes them. Namaste Jean Hamilton-Fford, you are a blessing in my life, and in the lives of those whose paths cross yours, our hemispheres serendipitously enlightened by the glow cast by your infinite, limitless light, and loving, healing energy.