Book Covers

23 12 2013

Susan-Boyle

One of my Mother’s favorite sayings was, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” She was trying to teach me that you shouldn’t form an opinion on someone or something based purely on what you see on the surface. Because usually after taking a deeper look, the person or thing will not be what you expected it to be. Well… that didn’t take! Despite her teachings, I had been guilty of exactly that. I’m much better with it now, but there is always room for improvement.

In the past couple of years I’ve changed a great deal. At least I think I so. For many reasons, my world is much more open than before… to new ideas, to different philosophies and beliefs, to people in general. I was very close-minded and opinionated. In some ways I still am, but I am willing to learn. I have met many people, especially in the last year. People who did not cross my path before, but have enriched me so.

All of this relates to a sad story…

290d99a1-e372-4950-a960-14b648f942d3I didn’t know Jessie Miele, or her husband Drew. I recognize them from the photos I see now, and I’m pretty sure that I sat next to them at Union match in DC a couple of years ago. I say that I’m pretty sure because there were no introductions, and we didn’t converse that day at all. At that time I jokingly referred to the their crazy looking group as the Tattoo People, and based on their appearance I probably didn’t initiate a conversation. This saddens me greatly.

The reason I know about Jessie and Drew now is hearing about their tragic story. A few weeks ago, Jessie was about to give birth to their first child… a son. There were complications, and Jessie passed away shortly after meeting her baby boy. Devastating, beyond comprehension. A vibrant, young woman was about to have her world changed in the best possible way, only to be silenced. I was relating this story at home, and my wife said it sounded familiar. A woman in work suffered a similar loss recently. It was Jessie’s mother…. a small world.

Jessie and Drew are members of the Sons of Ben and the Corner Creeps, supporter groups of the Philadelphia Union. Those organizations have rallied around their members, collecting some money to help Drew raise their beautiful son. It’s been a tremendous outpouring of love and support, that has expanded to supporters of other teams and throughout the soccer community. The people who have supported this effort have not asked who these people are, but “how can we help?” And those that have given so generously certainly have not judged a book by its cover.

I’m sad that I missed so many opportunities to meet great people throughout my life. I’m sad that I will never meet Jessie. I hope to meet Drew and his son one day, and let him know that his family’s story has touched my hard, stubborn heart.

Going forward, I’m going to remember that everyone I meet – if they have tattoos, piercings, ripped jeans or pink mohawks – is a person that is worth knowing… someone’s child, someone’s parent, or someone’s friend. Maybe my new friend.

If you would like to learn more about Jessie and Drew’s story, or make a donation, please visit the Jessie Miele Fund site.

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12 07 2015
Book Covers – Revisited | JOHN LANGAN'S BLOG

[…] previous most viewed post was entitled “Book Covers“… where I wrote about not judging people by their appearances. More specifically, it […]

24 12 2013
Drew Miele

Her name is Jessie. It’s not Jessica

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