By Kellie Clark
It has been an unusually cold winter in Central Texas. About six weeks ago, we had a final cold snap and I embraced the opportunity for what I knew would be the last fire in our fireplace of the winter season. The kids were in bed, my husband working late, so I tossed a few fluffy pillows in front of the hearth and sat down to warm my chilly fingers and toes.
My 10 year old daughter, Savanna, surprised me and tip-toed down the stairs to sit next me by the fireplace. We chatted a while and then, she surprised me again, “Mom, I know your job is to be ‘Ms. Mo’s Helper’ but, what do you really do all day?” Wow! What a question!
I told her about the responsibilities of the assistant to an Executive and I explained that over the decade that I have served Mo, my role has changed. Currently, we collaborate on many, many writing projects together from our annual International Inspirational Breakfast, to articles, and speeches. I told Savanna how honored and privileged I feel to be Mo’s trusted sounding board and the one she turns to on these creative projects that are touching so many lives. I went on, “For example, I was up late working tonight on edits to Mo’s article on Dreaming that she wants to post on MoMentorship.com.” Then, I shared Mo’s story about Big Dreams and how she found her path to continue dreaming after a house fire threatened to take her dreams away.
“Mom, what’s your Big Dream?” Savanna’s sweet 10 year old voice asked.
This question stunned me into silence. After staring into the golden orange flames lapping at my toes, I had an epiphany, which I shared with my daughter.
When I was 10 years old, the only thing I wanted to do was write. In those early years I envisioned myself in many different writing careers: journalist, novelist, and even the person who writes sentimental Hallmark cards! As a child, I wrote plays, stories, poetry, and essays. I was always the first student to volunteer to give an oral presentation that I had written. But, when I was a sophomore in High School, I had several experiences with a teacher that I truly admired and with my parents that discouraged me so deeply that I forgot my dream! I cast aside a childhood vision and pursued a “more practical” path in life – I chose the safe road. Walt Disney said, “All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Sadly, I did not have the courage nor did I, at that time, have the encouragement to shore up my dream when it was crumbling.
Looking into my daughter’s little face, all aglow with firelight, I realized, “Savanna, today, I am a forty-something year old working mom, and my greatest joy is co-writing with Mo! I am living my Big Dream and I did not even know it!”
Savanna looked at me in amazement and with an excited voice she asked, “Have you told Mo that she has helped you to dream again? Have you told her that she made your dream come true?”
It’s true. My greatest mentor, my leader, and my career companion has made this and many dreams come true by simply allowing me to embrace opportunity as it arises – by allowing me to step up to the plate when it is needed, and by trusting me. In the words of Colin Powell, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” Mo has helped me to realize my forgotten dream and she is wise enough to allow me to experience the fulfillment of hard work invested in it.
So, to honor this beautiful gift from Mo and to pay it forward, I am making a point to encourage my daughter in her own writing venture and her pursuit of the creative arts – Savanna is a playwright and a recent one act play that she wrote was performed by professionals in our local theatre!
One cold night in Texas, sitting by the fire with my daughter, I learned that even forgotten dreams can come true!