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The Extraordinary Stephanie

A year ago, I sat with my racing thoughts over a cup of steaming coffee. With my trembling hand, I scribbled down five audacious life visions on my notecard. There were no lingering doubts that these longings had indeed come from deep within, but I wrestled with what to do next. I am definitely an emotional dreamer…but a woman of action…not so much.

Abby was one of my students when I taught 6th grade Language Arts. Stephanie Blog photoTall and athletic, she carried herself with confidence and maturity. Her enthusiasm and natural curiosity inspired me to bring my best to class each day. Her older sister, Ellie, had formed a bond with my youngest son Grant through helping out in his special education class. Jake and Ellie would also form a wonderful friendship in high school. All of these seemingly random occurrences had to take place in order for a miraculous meeting to occur.

Participating in a TED event and writing a book are at the top of my vision card. A mutual friend had mentioned the name Stephanie Sarazin as a potential contact. I immediately realized that she was Abby and Ellie’s mother, and our paths had already crossed. The day I arrived at the Special Olympics to watch Grant participate, I was pleasantly surprised to see Stephanie and one of my friends from college there to volunteer. Sadly, I admit I did not pay much attention to Grant as I became engrossed in a deep conversation with Stephanie. Turns out she was in the process of applying to bring a TEDx Women’s event to Cary, North Carolina. She had a wealth of knowledge and we committed to connecting in the near future.

Fast forward several months…

Stephanie Sarazin is the Curator and Executive Producer of TEDx Cary Women, and I am a speaker! That should be and would be enough to blow my mind… but there is more. I have been praying for a partner for many years. I am not alone, but often feel lonely. Stephanie has become a trusted confidante in a few short months. I have been able to share painful parts of my past, and celebrate joyous victories in my present. We are both at similar stages as single mothers, and she has provided me with a safe place to dwell when I am hurting. Her sense of humor and exuberance keeps me moving forward. She not only was instrumental in providing me the opportunity to reach one of my life visions, she has also made me believe in the divine. When I begin to doubt and struggle in my own strength…I look at the picture of these smiling women… and find peace in knowing there is indeed a plan and a purpose waiting to be discovered.

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