It was Gray, lots of it inside and out in my world that very cold February day when my friend Michelle sent me a link, a link to contribute writing to a book that Renee Rongen was creating. A book with the artwork and the words of women, a collaborative effort led by a woman of tremendous humor and wisdom.
But when gray swirls around you it is hard to see the life lines that those who love you are sending you, but the idea was intriguing.
My friend Michelle is a big-fat-deal Marketing Director for Dignity Health in Sacramento, and the hippest, coolest smart woman I know. Five years ago she created the Mercy Care Begins with Me event for women. An expo for women and health, but it’s fun and beautiful, not boring. She likes to have as her keynote speakers women of faith who can also appeal to the secular market, by doing this she merges her career with her faith..she is smart like that.
Renee’ Rongen was the speaker she had chosen for her 2012 October event and Renee’ was collecting contributors for this very cutting edge book she was crafting for women by women.
After a few days of Michelle’s email staring at me…I went to the link…looked at the requirements…walked away…walked back and then remembered a piece I had written when the AZ girls were on their way to Carlsbad for a visit. I wrote the piece for all the amazing women who I have been privileged to share deep relationships with but they were my catalyst. I edited it and filled out the information sheet and sent it and forgot about it.
We went on with our vagabond life for the next 6 months.
Two weeks ago I opened my email and found a note from Shannon (Renee’s Editor) waiting for me. I was tired, very tired…moving into the condo and starting school for the last 2 months was wearing thin on my reserves. But here was a surprise…the good kind. As I read I started screaming and making all kinds of sounds, my husband came into the bedroom to see if I was OK. “Kim, what’s wrong?” “Nothing” I followed up with “They picked me!” I am in Renee’s book!
The email said that my $25.00 check and 5 free books would be sent as soon as I verified my mailing address to them.
I must have reread that email 10 times! But then I was afraid a little, I had given them editing rights. I didn’t know if it would look like my writing or maybe it would be just 2 or 3 lines, funny how Gray can just show up in even in the most amazing of moments. But I did call Michelle and we screamed and laughed together! And then I told Jennifer who is also cool and hip and she was going with me to Michelle’s event in two weeks. And of course my sister had to know because she is not just my sister but the keeper of all my secrets and the number one hand holder in my life. But after that I just kept quiet.
I went to school Tuesday morning and tried not to think about the event that night but it kept peeking through the spaces of the day and I kept pushing it back down until Michelle sent me a picture showing me that I had a whole page…a whole page! I left school at 3:15, dressed and met Jennifer in the Lobby and together we went to the table, we asked if we could buy a book and the girl said “sorry, not until after Renee’ speaks” Jennifer never being one to take no for an answer and someone who just gets people to do stuff they need to do, said ” Can we look at them?” And the gal let us and we were trying to find it when
she said “Hey are your Michelle’s friend?” I told her yes and she said “I will help you look too!” And then I found it, I started bawling, Jennifer and I screamed and laughed and hugged each other…and then I read it! They were my words, reformatted and styled beautifully but mine!
After Renee’ finished her wonderful, amazing, fabulous, funny and refreshing presentation, we walked to the book table. Michelle was just bringing her to the table as we arrived and in a just a few minutes she was hugging me and congratulating me and we were taking pictures and it was a real true TADA moment!
Renee’ told me that there were 1500 submissions for the book, and she told Michelle “This is just a God thing”…I believe it is. She signed a book for me and then we laughed some more but the line of women was growing so we moved on. I walked away from her and then turned and grabbed Jennifer and Michelle and told them how much I loved them and how excited I was to share this moment with them!
The only thing that could have made the moment more perfect is if my sister was there and the AZ girls too, but there was no gray.
The next day at school I said to each of my classes would they like to know about something cool that happened to me?
They all said Yes and as I told each class they clapped and cheered! They chanted Read it, Read it, Read it! and so I did.
I think that is as close as I am ever going to come to being a Rock Star, but at my age that is all I really need:)
Here is an update: August 1, 2013 The book is now available at Barnes and Nobles!