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Miracles on my Journey to the World Domination Summit

Miracle #1

It's four weeks before the World Domination Summit.  I've been dreaming for a year, waiting for months, saving for the ticket to Portland, Oregon I am about to buy.  There is absolutely no practical reason I should be spending on a ticket or a trip but I try to forget practicality and groceries  and kids' shoes because I want my life to be so much bigger, I need to go further than this day to day.  I have dreams.  I have plans.

Our still-hyper two-year old puppy so wants to run into the big wide world beyond the leash, beyond the fenced-in yard.  She grew up on a farm after all.  Oh, how I understand her yearning to be free.  She gets out one day as the kids come in from school and I hear the car wheels screech on our busy street, see her tossed like some ragdoll across the road, move forward to pick her up, sick knot in my stomach.

The kids and I wait at the emergency vet hospital, nervous.  I know the plane ticket money is the only extra I have.  I am grateful I have it, even more grateful when the vet comes to tell us our beloved dog is just fine.

We call her superdog, the cat-dog with nine lives,  shed tears and swear it's a miracle.  But I know Imma need another one soon if I want to get to Portland.

Miracle #2

I give it up to the Universe, throw up both my hands, and hope I can pull off making up the savings to get the ticket.  I get another job working 2 nights a week teaching music lessons, half goes to the babysitter.  I answer an ad on Craigslist and sell buttons at political rallies, I even tell the customers that of course I support their candidate, not the other guy, throw up in my mouth a little.  I tell myself I can hustle.  I look for a third job.

I go to the food shelf because I don't have enough $ after bills for groceries this week or last week or next week.  I remember I am so grateful for a list of things that goes on forever and this too shall pass and when my son says Mommy are we poor? I say we are rich in all the ways it matters because we have so much love.  And that's the fucking truth.

WDS is now only a couple of weeks away.  My best friend calls, the only person in my life who knows how important this trip is to me because it represents freedom, adventure, service, and he says you are still going, right?  I say I don't think so.

I swallow my fear and ask for a loan from a close family member.  I cross my fingers.  He says yes, but that I won't need to pay him back.  I jump up and down and cry.  I'm gonna make it.

Miracle #3

I step on the plane in CMH en route to PDX.  Even as I am boarding I cross my fingers that nothing stops me from taking off.  I know all too well that at any time I may have to surrender to the overarching call of motherhood.

Miracle #4

Portland is a revelation.  The weather is perfect.

I'm staying at a hostel, which I haven't done since I was backpacking in Europe during college, and I am loving every second of it even though I manage to contract a nasty lung infection on my trip (and surely keep all 5 other people awake all night in my room with my snoring).  Nothing can bring me down at this point.  Every moment, every speaker inspires, motivates, and activates me.  I am surrounded by people who are saying YES to life.

It is a magnificent whirlwind and every minute worthwhile, but I can't be more surprised when we are presented with the $100 Investment.

Because I have been dreaming about how I can make a bigger contribution to the world, and how can I as a single mom with meager resources and daunting responsibilities?

But now here I am charged with this $100 bill and I know it is slated for just this purpose.  I won't touch it, not even if the dog gets hit by a car again (which, by the way would be the 3rd time).

Not until I know it will multiply 1,000-fold to bring greater freedom, adventure, and service to my family's life and the lives of many others.  And you better believe I am thinking about how I can help empower other single moms not only to get food on the table but also to believe in themselves, to remember that miracles exist everyday, and sometimes, yes, our dreams come true too.

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Sibling Love: From Dawn to Dusk

sibling loveOur brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.  ~Susan Scarf Merrell

Ask me who I am and inevitably the conversation quickly turns to my three siblings.  The people they have become, and the person I am becoming, are thoroughly intertwined, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I realize that not everyone beams about their siblings the way I do.  I see myself in my mind's eye stacked in order of our birth.  I am the 2nd child, the oldest girl.  As we have aged, however, we have become equals, and the best of friends.

This year our Thanksgiving brought us all together in one city, in one home, around one table, and my sister and I were blessed to cook for and host the feast.  This was a special occasion, as in years past we have been scattered about the country or the world, and in this day and age it is amazing we are all centrally located.  Moving "home" with my children earlier this year was in large part due to my desire to be close to these amazing people I am honored to be related to.

What I know is I never feel so whole as when I am surrounded by my siblings.  When we are together the energy of our togetherness alone propels us.  When we laugh, it is with years of common history, the chorus of laughter echoing behind us.  No one else can understand the intimate threads of my past as they can, and only rarely is that a bad thing.  Perhaps it is because the common tribulations we have endured brought us closer rather than tore us apart, as it may have other families.  Perhaps it is that we can make each other laugh so hard that we cry.  And we've had exciting adventures to round it all out.

Certain memories of each of them stand out in my mind as solid metaphors for who they are, and how I love them.  I have written poems for each of them, and songs, and they are my lifetime muses.

When we were young, my older brother was my complete idol.  I worshiped him as much as he dismissed me.  Anything he did, I wanted to do.   I remember laying on the floor outside his bedroom, listening to him play the violin, year after year.  He and the sound of the violin are one in my memmory.  The beautiful music of my big brother.

My younger sister is like my heart outside of my body, walking in the world.  We possess an understanding of each other that no outside relationship could ever rival.  Attending the same college, we were roommates, and now in our 30's we are roommates once again.  Whether cooking the Thanksgiving meal, watching reruns of Sex in the City, or visiting our father, together we flow smoothly.  Still today my image of my sister as a child remains how she found her own happiness in every moment, no matter what was going on around her, her world was filled with beauty, and she still lives this way today making people's special life moments perfect.

My youngest sibling, my little brother, is a hulking gentle giant whose hyperactive affection and infectious enthusiasm will make him live on forever as his 7-yr old self in my mind.  He was everywhere as a child, neverending energy, and his sweetness and literal love for sugar are the cornerstones of my memories of him.  He now spreads that sweetness and enthusiasm all over the world through his work.

A sibling may be the keeper of one's identity, the only person with the keys to one's unfettered, more fundamental self.  ~Marian Sandmaier

I feel blessed to have my brothers and sister as a part of my life, and the closeness we share is such a gift I will never take for granted,  for all this I am so grateful.

Do you have a sibling story to share?

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