The Divine Mr. Kibosh

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss


Almost twenty years ago, I began a speciality coffee business. This was when gourmet coffee was just on the cusp of becoming something really big.

From Google.com
Delicious Coffee! Via Pinterest

My little coffeehouse was called “Cappuccino City.” It quickly established itself as the hip place to be and I thoroughly enjoyed being a small business owner. I made friends during that time that I still have to this day.

One of my customers was a stand out. His name was Joe. My nickname is Jo. Catch the catch? He’d come in and say “Hi Jo!” and I’d say “Hi Joe!”. We’d chat a few minutes and then he’d be on his way.

Years later, after I sold the coffee house, I needed some financial work done and I saw his ad in a local publication. I called him and said “Joe, do you remember me?” He said, “Of course!” Turns out his business was right down the road from my house.

So we became business acquaintances, but more. Joe was my cheerleader, always encouraging me to ask for more money (!) from my jobs and making me feel so good about myself that I’d leave his office practically on Cloud Nine.

Soon, after years of driving the parkway into Pittsburgh, I grew weary. I was looking for opportunities close to home. I had my eye on Joe, just in case he would need me.

I let him know it at one of my visits. Just an “if you ever need someone, please keep me in mind” pitch. And then one day, when it seemed I couldn’t take another traffic jam, I happened to call him about something. He said his long time admin had left. I asked him if I could interview for the job.

He said to come down and meet with his lead person. She and I went to lunch and the rest is history.

So it was with a heavy heart that I left Joe last month, after barely hitting my two year mark. As you may remember, I needed to spend more time with Mom. But I consider every minute I spent with  Joe worth it. Here are some great bits of wisdom I learned from him:

1. You develop confidence when you figure things out for yourself.

2. Pizza with pepperoni that is baked a little longer tastes really good.

3. When someone puts a stop to something, it’s called a “kibosh”.

4. There is no substitute for personal attention to a client.

5. Don’t get something new until the old one breaks. 🙂

I like to think I taught Joe a few things myself. He loved the Greek word “Fuss-a-ria” which means to cause a big fuss. Once Joe learned this word, it became a part of his dictionary. (and I love the word “Kibosh!”) He loved other things Greek too. I took him to my church during our food festival and introduced him to some great Greek food. Hopefully, I taught him some other wisdom filled lessons; some he needed and some he probably didn’t want – like a crash course on menopausal women! In return, he believed in me and my capabilities. He had confidence in me when sometimes I did not have it myself.

I believe in my heart that even though my time with Joe was short, it had a divine purpose. I learned many new things that could be of great benefit someday. Sometimes even the shortest experiences have the longest impressions.

Have you ever met someone you feel had a divine purpose in your life?

Join me on my graceful journey.
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8 Replies to “The Divine Mr. Kibosh”

  1. Fuss-a-ria; what a great word. And how wonderful to have someone like Joe in your life. I think most people who come in to my life have a divine purpose although I often don’t know it at the time 🙂

  2. I agree with Gallivanta…I think everyone we meet has a divine purpose in our lives…even the negative people show me who I don’t want to be! So anyway, please enjoy this time with your mom. In October of 2008, I got laid off from a job I LOVED! It was the only office job I have ever had and losing it was devastating. But God knew what He was doing…In April of 2009 my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer…it was her second bout with that horrible disease. Being laid off allowed me to spend time with her during her illness and also to be there with he when she took her last breath. We lived in different states and spending time with her was not easy at all. In June of that year, we took a week and went to Arizona where she was living at the time. I was there when she was put in hospice and had to leave not knowing if I would ever see her again. She had a miraculous turn around and was ‘kicked out’! She asked if she could return to PA and the doctor said yes. In July I flew up there and spent 2 1/2 weeks helping my sister care for her, but had to come back to Texas. Then in August, she asked me to return so I did. She died less than a week later. I thank God every day for the opportunity to be there with and for her!
    Joe sounds like a wonderful person!

    1. Cathy, this is a lovely example how God has a purpose for the events and people that come into our lives. It was a blessing that you could be with your mom so often and up to when she passed. Many thanks for sharing your story! xo Joanne

  3. How very wonderful if we all make a conscious note of everyone that enters our lives as being sent for a divine purpose. Either for us to impart something into their lives or for them to impart something into ours. Yes, even those difficult people have a role to play in our own self-transformation. Thank you for this lovely story of you and Joe. And thank you Joanne for coming into my life. Your grace is a blessing. Sharon

  4. Thank you for this touching and inspiring story about Joe! I am sure you indeed taught him some new ideas as well. I have crossed paths with wise people who may have not stayed in my life but have stayed in my heart. Thanks again for this thought-provoking story! Gina

  5. I believe our children were the glue that held us together initially and in the long run, the kids benefited greatly by seeing us mend our marriage. Not that we had to stay together necessarily, but we learned to be civil and kind to each other.

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