Jacob's Story

I remember being in church while still pregnant with Jacob. A friend told me he would be a peace maker and he did indeed become that. He was half like his older brother Jordan in that he was very outgoing and likeable. He was half like his middle brother in that he was a quick learner. There were never many fights between the brothers and when they started karate they became the three musketeers.
Jacob was always a happy boy. That is why when he took his life on Oct. 4, 2007 it caught me by surprise. Yes, as a fifteen year old he was going through some things but nothing I viewed as insurmountable for Jacob. He was having headaches that our family doctor was in the process of evaluating and he had recently been dumped by his girlfriend and that hurt him deeply. Sadly it was to much for him to bear and he committed suicide. It has taken several years to get over the pain and even now there are still times when it hits me like a ton of bricks.
One thing that has helped me to deal with this is the story of the carrot, egg and coffee bean. This is how that story goes :
          A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.
          Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a gas burner. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he got up and turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He took the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her he asked. “Darling, what do you see?”
 “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
          He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
          Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She asked. “What does it mean Father?”
          He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
          The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
          “Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” How about you?
          Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff? Your shell looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you.
Jacob loved coffee and his favorite place to hang was Starbucks. So what helps me the most is focusing on being the bean. When memories overwhelm me I become the bean. Sometimes it means getting a cup of coffee usually with peppermint (because peppermint is considered a healing aroma). It gives me the strength to go on. The strength to keep taking care of my family even when it is hard. Even when the emotions of the loss are strong I know I must be the bean. Especially for my grand daughter who was born six weeks after Jacob passed away. Focusing on being the bean is an inner thing that just flows out.
Author unknown of the Carrot, Egg, and Coffee Bean: Which are you?
jacob1     jacob2
I am now a motivational/Inspirational Speaker. If you need a speaker for your next event contact me by E-mail: James@professorofperseverance.com and visit my Website at:  http://www.JamesPerdueSpeaks.com
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