Questions for Reflection (27:47)
Each episode we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), you might find one of these PDFs useful. Choose the orientation that fits best in your journal.
Beth Demme (00:04):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:10):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:11):
I've been in recovery for 13-plus years, and recently released my memoir, Discovering My Scars, about my mental health struggles, experiences, and faith.
Beth Demme (00:19):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor, who's all about self-awareness and emotional health, because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:26):
Beth and I have been friends for six years, have gone through a recovery program together, and when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:34):
And I didn't hesitate to say yes because I've learned a lot from honest conversations with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:40):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:43):
So, today is May 13th, 2020, around 9:30 in the morning.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:49):
We don't normally timestamp our episodes, but we think it's important to do that right now.
Beth Demme (00:53):
Yep. Things are still changing daily with the coronavirus outbreak. And we're now like, I don't know, 8 million weeks in on this thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:03):
Maybe, maybe so, Beth. Yeah, I know we're in it and we're still in it, but I will say, I think today is our last episode of our series.
Beth Demme (01:15):
Our very first series.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:16):
Our very first series that we accidentally got into. So, how are we going to end this, Beth? How are we wrapping up our coronavirus pandemic outbreak lockdown series?
Beth Demme (01:27):
I think what we're realizing is that it took a pandemic for us to be able to do a series on our podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:33):
Yes. That is so true. I had never even, we never even considered doing a series, and it took a pandemic for that to happen.
Beth Demme (01:41):
Yeah. I mean, I guess.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:43):
I think that's a good topic.
Beth Demme (01:44):
Things are happening.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:44):
Yeah, I think that's a good topic. It took a pandemic to __________. How about you, Beth? What else did it take a pandemic for?
Beth Demme (01:52):
All right, let me think. It took a pandemic for me to experience Sabbath, or rest. And I say that because life was going at like a million miles a minute and then, so much just stopped, that there has been more rest. Even as work has continued, the pace of life has been more restful. I had to go to the doctor last week. My blood pressure was down.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:19):
Beth Demme (02:20):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:20):
Oh, that's very interesting. So, when you say you rest, do you mean actually just stopping and doing nothing? Do you mean just taking more time during your day to breathe and to pray or to think or to do nothing? What exactly do you mean by Sabbath?
Beth Demme (02:37):
Yeah. Well, what I really mean is that there are fewer things on my calendar, so there are fewer... We didn't end... We didn't go to any of the games that were the end of the lacrosse season, because the whole season got canceled. So, all of those responsibilities fell off of my calendar. And school changed for the kids, and so that changed the dynamic in the household and they're just... We have been at home and so, the kids haven't been going places, and I haven't been going places, and my husband hasn't been going places. So, there's just this sense of restfulness about our lives that didn't, that just wasn't true. So, it took a pandemic for me to see that that was even possible. Because I would have said, "This is just how life is."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:25):
Beth Demme (03:26):
We're just busy people. This is what it takes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:28):
Well, and we did an episode a while back about why we glamorize being overworked and over-busy. Because I think that is something culturally that we specifically as Americans that's part of our culture is to go, go, go, fill up your schedule, be busy, be busy, be busy. And it literally took a pandemic for all of us to hit a brick wall and be like, "Literally can't do that right now," and having to take time. Do you think... I know for me, when I'm so go, go, go and so busy, I don't take time to really think and process things. And that's usually when I fall into more anxiety and more depression, because I don't take that time for me mentally. Have you found that you're able to have more mental clarity than you have in the past?
Beth Demme (04:14):
Yeah. It's just like, there's less clouding in my emotional space because some of that busy-ness has gone. It has been replaced by some other things that aren't entirely healthy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:24):
Beth Demme (04:26):
Some other anxieties or worries or uncertainties or fear about uncertainties, but the busy-ness, at least, has subsided. What about you? What does it take a pandemic for you to ________-?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:38):
Well, I think the very first thing that comes to mind is, it took a pandemic for me to truly appreciate my porch. And I know it sounds so simple, but when I moved into my house, like six years ago, six or seven years ago, I remember thinking, "Wow, how cool. There's a porch." It's almost like it's a bonus space. It's not even included in your square footage. So, it's like, "This is a bonus. How cool." And it's... And I never really appreciated it. I never sat out there that often. I had nice seats and everything out there, ready to go, ready to be a great spot, but I never truly appreciated it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:12):
But this pandemic just happened to coincide with great weather here in Florida. And me and my mom, when she comes over, we go straight to the porch and we just sit. And we do work out there. We talk, we sit, we do nothing. Mac comes out there and lays down. And it's just time that I would have had filled with other things and wouldn't have taken the time to just sit. I'm doing it now. And I don't want that to change, when things get back to—I don't want to say normal, because that's not the term.
Beth Demme (05:44):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:45):
When they get back to something more structured than we have right now. I don't want to change that. I want to keep my windows open, my porch open. I know the summer is going to force me to think otherwise.
Beth Demme (05:56):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:56):
But I'm going to figure it out. I have a fan out there. I'm going to make it work.
Beth Demme (06:00):
We have actually had some really great weather lately. I don't normally like to be outside at all, and it has made me want to be outside. So, I'm right there with you, more time on the porch, more time outside, more walks in the neighborhood. All of that has happened. It took a pandemic for that to happen in my life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:19):
Beth Demme (06:20):
So, yeah, for sure. It also took a pandemic for me to enjoy eating at home. It used to be that we would eat at a restaurant. I would eat at a restaurant at least once a day for something. I'd go to Dunkin' Donuts to get my coffee in the morning, or I'd meet someone for brunch, or we would meet at a restaurant to do our podcast planning, or my family would go out to dinner. There was always a restaurant involved somewhere that was like essential, so much so that eating out wasn't even special, it was just normal. And now, it's like, "Oh, I can do this. We as a family can work together to do meal planning and meal prep, and this is an enjoyable time." But it took a pandemic for me to really understand that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:57):
I would say it took a pandemic for me to realize I can do that, that I can eat every meal at home. I'm not going to go as far as saying that I'm loving it. I will say, we were in the routine of eating every meal out, so I will, and it wasn't a special thing anymore. So, I do like the fact that it's not even a question, like where do we eat out? It's just, we're eating here, and it's easy. And we are able to just kind of de-stress and sit on the porch and eat a meal. So, I do like that fact.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:30):
But I will say it took a pandemic, going along with your food thing, it took a pandemic for me to realize I don't have to go to Starbucks every day, because that's something that I would do on the regular, and if not more than once a day. But I'm not going to go as far as saying that that's a good thing. I will say, I still want to. I'm not going to say like, it's been how many days, like way... There's been enough days for me to get in the habit of not going to Starbucks, but still every day, I want to go. And like we are...
Beth Demme (08:02):
It's not so much about what you would order at Starbucks, right? It's really about...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:05):
Beth Demme (08:06):
Yeah. The experience of sitting there and tangentially experiencing community.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:11):
Beth Demme (08:11):
Without it having be, without it being all up in your, like at your table. Right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:15):
Yeah. I mean, there was something I really liked. I got a lot of busy work done that I couldn't get done fully at home, because I was just distracted by things. There's too many more fun things to do than typing things. So, I would say I do miss that. And I'm missing my Starbucks cup. But I realized I can go a significant amount of time without going. And I'm not in a hole somewhere because of it. So, that was good to realize that I could survive not going to Starbucks.
Beth Demme (08:46):
I'm really thankful for your survival, for the perseverance.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:49):
But I do want to say, we can link this in the show notes because this is classic stuff here. I was really sad one day that I couldn't go to Starbucks, and we're not doing drive-thru's, we've mentioned that. We're literally eating at home, but I still have tea. Don't worry, folks. I'm still drinking my tea. I still got my sweets. No worries here. Spoiler alert. I had a doctor's appointment this weekend. All my blood work looks good, so no worries there.
Beth Demme (09:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:17):
Which is a little concerning, because I have maybe had too many sweets. I'm like, "Ooh, that's not really telling me good stuff, because I'm going to continue doing that." But anyways, a couple of weeks ago, I was like, "Mom, can we play Starbucks?" And she was like, "What?" I was like, because we had banana bread and I was like, "Mom, could you put banana bread in a bag and write Starbucks on it, and then get a cup and write Starbucks, and I'll make some tea and put it in the cup. Then I'm going to sit in the car and then you'd be my barista. And here's a piece of paper. You write my order."
Beth Demme (09:44):
Of course, you order her to do all the work. Of course you did.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:46):
No, no, I was doing it all. No, I was making the tea. I was like, I had her draw the Starbucks logo, because I'm not good at drawing. But if you see her, she was not good either. She's like drew a happy face. She's like, "Here, this is the mermaid." I was like, "Oh, no." But we played Starbucks and it was so much fun. And we put it on our Instagram because you know what? I was like, "It's the little things now." And the next day, we played Panera drive-through for her birthday. I made her Panera, because that's what she had been craving. So, we had fun with the things that we're missing. We're still able to enjoy the fun of them.
Beth Demme (10:21):
Yeah. I'm sure that I will get tired of eating at home, but it just has... It has turned out to be more relaxing. I just didn't know that it would be that way. It always felt like, "Oh, we don't have time to do that, or the energy to do that." And it turns out that we have the time and energy to do that, and we can continue to do this, even once all of our favorite restaurants are open. It also made me realize, we have a lot of restaurants around us. A lot, a lot. And I was getting tired of all of them. That's how much I ate out that, even with this abundance of choices, it was like, "Oh, no, that doesn't sound good. That doesn't sound good. That doesn't sound good." And now, it's like, "Oh, I'm just going to cook whatever we have, and it'll be fine."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:00):
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. We were in the same rut too. It's like, "I don't want that. I don't want that." I mean, we were about to make this wheel of food where we would just spin it.
Beth Demme (11:08):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:10):
And just wherever it tells us to go, we'll go.
Beth Demme (11:11):
Yeah, to not have to make the decision, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:13):
Beth Demme (11:14):
Because it was another decision I have to make. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:16):
So, Beth, anything else that it took a pandemic for you?
Beth Demme (11:19):
Yeah. So, I would say that it took a pandemic for me to realize that I don't have to travel to have adventure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:26):
Ooh, I like that.
Beth Demme (11:28):
Because I really love to travel, and have been really sad about the fact that we didn't get to go to Spain, like we had planned in March. And even just on a Saturday driving down to the coast to see the water, we haven't been doing that. We have still been on weekends doing some off-road trails and stuff just to be outside sort of, but it always felt like the way to have a family adventure was to go somewhere and do something together. And I'm finding that actually, we can find adventure in other ways, right here, just in our shared space. I mean, surviving a pandemic is sort of an adventure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:09):
It really is. Exactly.
Beth Demme (12:09):
So, it doesn't have to be all about going and doing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:11):
Beth Demme (12:11):
It can be about staying and experiencing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:14):
And looking at adventure in different ways then.
Beth Demme (12:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:18):
Beth Demme (12:18):
Exactly. What about you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:21):
I would say, one thing that I think it took a pandemic for me to truly realize that I love my neighbor. And I'm using neighbor in the more broad term. But what I mean by that is a big reason... I mean, the whole point of wearing a mask is to protect if I happen to have the virus, I—by wearing a mask, my mouth juices aren't being projected into the world when I'm around other people, around my neighbors. And I feel it's very important to wear a mask to protect my neighbors. And that's something that I'd never had the opportunity to do something... I mean, I follow the laws of the road to protect my neighbors, things like that, but there was never anything that substantial to show, yeah, I do love people. And you can show love in different ways, and this is the way that I'm doing that. So, yeah, I think it took a pandemic for that to happen.
Beth Demme (13:25):
Yeah. Because really, the mask-wearing is the pants for your face. It's definitely pants for your face. You and I don't feel like it should be optional, but it is optional. And so, it is a choice that you're making to convey to other people that they matter.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:41):
Beth Demme (13:42):
Somebody posted on Facebook yesterday or the day before about, they're not wearing a mask. And that they, it's one of these, "Well, I have my reasons." Right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:54):
Beth Demme (13:54):
And I'm pretty sure that I know the reasons. I think that there is, I think that I have some friends who think that wearing a mask is a show of weakness or a show of giving in to something. And so they're... So, this person is not wearing a mask, and they had been at the store, and someone had been very rude to them about it, coming up and saying—Actually, I think the person said, "I'm going to sue you for not wearing a mask. You're risking my health." And I was like, "Oh. Oh, my goodness. The whole point of wearing a mask is to care for another person, so you really blow it if you're in a mask and you go up and you berate someone. Hello, that's not...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:29):
Beth Demme (14:30):
This is... You just do what you can, you do your part. And you hope that somehow, you doing your part conveys to other people that they matter, and they matter enough that they should wear a mask for everyone's protection as well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:43):
And by the way, you can tell a smile, even when you're wearing a mask.
Beth Demme (14:48):
Yeah. Isn't that true?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:49):
You can see when people are smiling because your eyes like. So, don't feel like you can't. I think that's part of it is you can't really connect as much, which is true. That's not going to... That is true, that there's a connection you get from seeing someone's full face, but you can see a smile. So, don't forget that. You can be you in a mask.
Beth Demme (15:11):
I would say that it took a pandemic for me to realize I can still tell when someone is smiling just by their eyes. Because eyes smile.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:19):
Yeah. I happened to already know that because we wear a mask a lot in the workshop, and so.
Beth Demme (15:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:23):
My mom, I'll be like, "Mom, smile." And I was like, "I could tell when you're smiling. You're not smiling." We both have really good resting B faces, I'll say, so.
Beth Demme (15:34):
In mask or out of mask?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:35):
Both. We have a classic resting B face. Especially when we're working, we have to sometimes remind each other, "Oh, camera's on. Look like you're happy about life or something."
Beth Demme (15:47):
Look friendly, look friendly.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:49):
But that's the thing like... Oh, nevermind. I won't get into that, telling women to smile. Sorry, go on. That's a whole episode. Don't tell me to smile.
Beth Demme (15:59):
But if you are going to smile, smile with your eyes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:01):
Beth Demme (16:03):
And your mouth so that we can see your smile, even behind your mask.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:06):
That's interesting. Do you think you can smile with just your eyes? Not-
Beth Demme (16:09):
No. I don't think I can. I'm looking at myself on the FaceTime and I don't think I can.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:16):
See if you can smile without your mouth moving. Have your resting B face and then try to smile.
Beth Demme (16:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:21):
Nope. I can't do it either.
Beth Demme (16:23):
It's all about the mouth and the cheeks and the... Yeah. Well, I think I know another thing that you've been doing during the pandemic, but I'll just share mine, that it took a pandemic for me to watch all the episodes of Money Heist. What a fantastic show, what a great movement like...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:39):
Beth Demme (16:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:40):
What does that mean?
Beth Demme (16:40):
Well, it's a whole movement. Okay, so, Money Heist is this show that came out of Spain and they did two seasons and it basically failed in Spain. It was not a big deal. And then Netflix picked it up and it became huge. The whole... One of the concepts behind the show is that there are these, the robbers. It's all about a heist, and they wear red jumpsuits and Dali masks to hide their identity, and they're stealing from the government because the government can just make more money. So, there are no victims.
Beth Demme (17:16):
So, it has become a symbol throughout, I think mainly, well, I think mainly Europe and South America, but I don't know that it's really caught on in the U.S. at all, but of people using it in forms of protest against government action. And so it was, Netflix bought it and it became this huge hit. So, Netflix paid for them to do two more seasons. Actually, they're working on the fifth season now, so the third season with Netflix. Of course, the pandemic is messing up their recording schedule, blah, blah, blah. But Netflix ended up releasing a documentary about that change, that shift from before Netflix picked it up to after Netflix picked it up. And they shared a lot of the footage about people in protests, in red jumpsuits and in their Dali masks and how it has become a positive force for people sort of standing up for themselves and standing up for the little guy, so to speak. So, that's why I said it was a movement because-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:12):
Beth Demme (18:12):
Of how it's been used internationally. But so, yeah, it took... But it took a pandemic for me to even know about this show.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:17):
Wow. Yeah. I've watched a lot during this pandemic. I'm not going to lie. I think my two favorites that I've watched are...
Beth Demme (18:26):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:27):
See, I was trying so hard not to bring up the junk. That's why I said I've seen a lot, but that is, that in my opinion, that is junk and I didn't like it. Okay? I didn't like it. I don't want to talk about it. We brought it up too many times on here and I don't want to talk about it. Anyways, no. My two best things. Number one, Schitt's Creek, amazing show. I'm not cursing. It's a name. It's an amazing piece of amazingness. You're welcome. That was a great description. Highly recommend it. It's on Netflix. The other thing is something I've recently started watching that I realized that you actually like, because you don't like Schitt's Creek, because I have no idea.
Beth Demme (19:11):
Yeah. I can't get into it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:12):
This show that I am almost done with actually, I'm on the last season, is Downton Abbey.
Beth Demme (19:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:18):
Yes. So, I...
Beth Demme (19:19):
I can't believe it took a pandemic for you to watch Downton Abbey. Come on.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:21):
I know. I'm late to the game. I will tell you, for years, I've heard about it. And I knew one day I would binge-watch it, but the day never came. And then, the day came a couple of weeks ago. I was like, "I'm going to start Downton Abbey." And I did. I've really enjoyed it. And we are going to watch the movie together because apparently, there's a movie.
Beth Demme (19:39):
There's a movie... Yes, I'm excited for us to watch that together, so.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:43):
That will be exciting. I'm on, I have like three or four more episodes of season six.
Beth Demme (19:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:49):
Yeah. So, it literally took a pandemic for me to watch Downton Abbey and I have highly enjoyed it. I do have to turn on the closed caption because they say a lot of words that I'm like, "What'd you say?" I mean, for the while, I had to keep rewinding. I was like, "What?" And some things I can't fully follow, like there's this whole storyline. I was like, "I don't really know what's going on, but they're saying a lot of words." But overall, it's good. And you can figure out the major storylines.
Beth Demme (20:16):
So, not to be weird about this, but...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:18):
This is going to be good.
Beth Demme (20:19):
But I'll just be weird about it. So, but you have dyslexia. Is that reading closed captioning really hard?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:25):
No, because they're reading it at the same time, so it just helps me comprehend better. I'm not necessarily reading it word for word. I'm just kind of hearing them read it and I'm seeing the words, so it's helping reinforce. Because they have their thick accents. It's hard to understand the word exactly. But when I can see the word, it does, it is more tiring to watch closed captioning. Because I'm trying to read, trying to look at the words as they're saying them, and then also missing what the picture, but it's not as bad as it sounds. It's really... I'm enjoying it still, so. Like I said, though, I'm missing some storylines because I'm just like, "What are they talking about? This is going on for too long." And then they use really fluffy language to say one of our words, like...
Beth Demme (21:09):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:09):
They say it in like two paragraphs and it's like, we would say one word for that. It's like, "Okay, great."
Beth Demme (21:15):
Yeah. I will say that Money Heist, also closed captioning because it was originally recorded, obviously, in Spanish because it's a Spanish show. And that may be another reason, actually. I just made this connection that I've really enjoyed it is that we were supposed to take that trip to Spain over spring break and go to Madrid, and a lot of the show happens in Madrid. But so, they recorded it in Spanish and then dubbed it over in English. And then, we turn on the closed captioning because we're old, and the closed captioning doesn't always match, the translations don't always match. So, that's another source of amusement for me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:51):
Ah, nice. So, I would say there are definitely negative things that have come out of this pandemic. There's too long to list them all. We've talked about them in previous episodes, but I think what we've kind of observed today is, it took a pandemic for us to really observe some good things. There were some good things to come out of this and there are some positive things and things that we don't want to change that it took a pandemic for us to kind of get hit in the head to say, "This is something that you can do and you want to do and you can continue doing."
Beth Demme (22:27):
Yes. And I would maybe distinguish what we're saying is that it took a pandemic and it took these widespread societal changes that everybody's kind of been in on. That does not mean that it took COVID-19 to do that, right? So, I think about friends who have lost parents and lost loved ones. And I'm not trying to glorify that in any way. I'm just saying, it is surprising to me that things that I thought were unchangeable have been changed by this shared pandemic experience. And what you just said, some of it is worth keeping. Some of it's worth remembering even as things reopen.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:08):
Well, thank you for joining us for the last episode of our series, not of our podcasts, to clarify.
Beth Demme (23:15):
Right, yeah. That's important.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:15):
We are still going to keep going with our podcast. And we will actually be next... We are officially going to do an episode a week. We have been doing it for the last nine weeks.
Beth Demme (23:28):
It took a pandemic for us to realize we could do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:30):
Beth Demme (23:31):
It seemed so impossible before that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:33):
It was impossible. And then we did it and we realized, "Oh, I guess we can do it."
Beth Demme (23:37):
This pandemic is teaching us so much.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:38):
I know. So, we will be back next week with a regular scheduled program. This one, we actually, it's a good episode. I'm not going to say it's not a good episode, but we recorded it in January, and we pushed it back and pushed it back. And we only pushed it back because we thought it was too close to some episodes we were doing in January. So, we wanted to push it back so it stood on its own. And now, it's gotten pushed real back to May. So, hopefully, you enjoy it because...
Beth Demme (24:05):
Yeah, you don't want to miss it. It's a good episode.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:07):
Beth re-listened to it. She said it was good.
Beth Demme (24:10):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:10):
So, I believe her on that. And so, we will try to come back, do an episode a week, and get back to the kind of the honest conversations about things that make us different.
Beth Demme (24:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:24):
That aren't necessarily [crosstalk 00:24:25] pandemic related. I won't say we will never talk about the pandemic again. We probably will.
Beth Demme (24:30):
It will be an ongoing issue, for sure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:31):
It will be ongoing. It will be a part of the conversation because it is life now. And speaking of life now, I do want to say something that actually has been paralleling the pandemic for me is right at the beginning, right? When I actually went to Nashville in early March, my grandfather of 92, who I call my Pappou, which is Greek for grandfather. Early in March, we found out that he probably only had weeks to a month left with some heart things. And so last week, he did pass away.
Beth Demme (25:07):
I'm really sorry, Steph.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:08):
Thanks. And we weren't able to go to the funeral because of the pandemic, but we were able to watch it. We were able to Zoom with family, so we got to say our goodbyes and all of that. But I wanted to share a story that I thought went well with an episode we did a couple months ago about dyslexia. So, you mentioned in this episode, actually.
Beth Demme (25:32):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:32):
I am dyslexic. We've talked about that. But a story that I thought of when my Pappou passed away was, when I was in first grade is when I was diagnosed. So, when I was in second grade, I started going to a special class for it. And around that time, my grandparents came to visit and I was in the truck. They had a big truck. I was in the big truck with my Pappou, and we were driving and we were just talking and I'm pretty sure I was kind of lamenting about that I can't read. I think it's probably what I would have said. And he said, "What do you mean? You can read."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:05):
I was like, "No, I can't read. That's why I have to take these special classes." He's like, "What does that sign say?" I was like, "I don't know. I can't read." And he's like, "Well, come on. What's the first letter?" "C." "What's the next letter?" "O." "What's the next letter?" "N." "What does that spell?" "I don't know." "Sound it out. What does it spell?" "Ca... Con. Con." I was like... And he's like, "Okay, great. Con. And what's the next letter?" "O." "Okay. And what's the..."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:32):
And the next was CO, and I was like, "Con Oh co. Conoco." And it was a gas station. There was a gas station called Conoco. And he was like, "There you go. You can read." I just remember, there was this feeling of, "Wow. I can." And since that moment, that's how I... I sound out words. I find words. If there's a word I don't know, I look at it and I see if there's words I know within that word, like Con, I knew Con. And I just had to put the other letters together and I could make the word. So, it was that moment that taught me, "I can do this." I have to just look at it in a different way. And I've done that ever since. I still do that. And that was because of my Pappou. He's always been supportive of everything that me and my mom have done, me I've done. He just was a great light in my life.
Beth Demme (27:25):
Good memories of your Pappou.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:27):
Beth Demme (27:28):
Lou lived a good life. Good job, Lou.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:30):
Beth Demme (27:31):
Yeah. Rest in peace.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:35):
At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show. And Beth will leave a little pause between each, for you to pause the podcast, or you can find a PDF on our website.
Beth Demme (27:47):
Number one, finish this sentence. It took a pandemic for me to... Number two. Have you taken time to consider the positives that have come out of the pandemic in your own life? Number three. Do you still long for what life was like before the pandemic? Number four. Are you excited about the changes or are you loathing the idea of change? And number five. What have you binge-watched during the pandemic? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:19):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. I also want to mention, while I was talking about my Pappou, Beth spilled a bunch of liquid on her shirt and it was hilarious. We'll see you next time.
Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.