"Don't worry...they always grow back..."
She was more than a mentor...she was a friend, confidant, and frequent "Chief Matt Kosec Encourager" (her self-appointed title).
Today what I remember most clearly, though, was her clever humor.
I'll never forget her last words to me, about a week or so before she died.
She motioned with one finger for me to come close and I leaned in, expecting to learn the last piece of servant leadership wisdom.
I concentrated, committing myself to never forgetting her words.
"Matt, you know those little lizards that run around?
...when I was a little girl, me and the other girls would catch them and pull off their tails."
I was stunned. She must have noticed the dumbfounded look on my face.
Then came a surprisingly loud laugh as she said, "Don't worry...they always grow back...they always grow back. Bye bye now."
She turned her head the other way, I hugged her, and then left...simultaneously laughing and crying.
"I double-dog DARE you to reclaim lost dreams of your childhood! Bring KidSpirit back into your life. It's never too late to live a joy-filled life."
Georgia Ann McGee-Cooper, 1935-2016