Jean was a dear friend to many, a wife and mother, and an advocate for bullies in the workplace, among many other things I never got a chance to learn about because of her too-early death. What I do know is that Jean loved to travel. She was a collector of beautiful art. And her understanding of many different cultures around the world gave her a depth that few are blessed to call their own.
She was also generous and paid attention to what she learned about the people with whom she surrounded herself. I am a recipient of one of her gifts. I believe it came the first year that we met, in early 2005. I had given my BIKE presentation to the folks at NSA-Arizona just a few times, but Jean latched onto the importance of my message, the importance it had for me, especially. She listened. She got it.
So after one of our speaker lab meetings, Jean came up to me and presented me with a gold bike pin. It was an old-fashioned style bike. And I thought it was the sweetest thing. I knew she had remembered what Steve Tyra had said to me after my very first presentation, the day I literally brought and gave my presentation from the seat of my bike. He suggested I find a way to use the BIKE as an acronym, which I did (and is why you're here). And he also suggested that, instead of bringing my Trek 4300 in front of my audience, I just use a pin or something. I could stick it on my lapel. Because of Jean, I was able to do that. I have worn that gold pin at a few of my presentations.
In light of the significance of a single moment and in memory of Jean, I wrote a poem about this gift. It's a healing thing. I hope you enjoy it:
It was just a pin
a simple reminder
to add to my own
But now it's more
It's a thought
an honor to wear
It's her smile on my lapel