The Magnificent Morgan Women tied up the end of 2022, and I know their story is one that will continue to touch my life and inspire those who meet them.
When I first met with Michelle my off-the-cuff thought was who in the world is this raven-haired goddess and where has she been hiding? As she shared her story and talked about the loss of her husband and how she faced her grief I realized this was not a woman in hiding, this was a woman who was living with an aggressive ferocity. Michelle is living life with the goal of accomplishment and a desire to savor the small, but richly important, details.
Michelle is living it all: Basketball games
Lazy Saturday afternoons
Emergency car rescues because a daughter had a car die and was stranded at work
She is living all of it with a determination to never hide from the moments of life. She does this because she knows too well how quickly and unexpectedly these small seemingly typical moments can be halted.
Michelle's daughters, Kenzi and Megan, have woven their lives together, united with their mother despite the loss of their father, because of Michelle's example. And I'm sure Michelle would add, because they have this unique energy that has stuck with them since they were born. "I am constantly amazed by them," Michelle told me, shaking her head as if she almost can't believe how lucky she is.
Kenzie and Megan are some kind of special and because of that, I wanted to know how they saw their mother.
"My mom has held it together since my dad died," Kenzie quietly told me as her mother tried on dresses in the other room. "She hasn't quit. It's been hard but she just keeps going. Sure, she gets sad sometimes. We all do. But that's not who she is and it isn't how she acts. She's held it together probably most for us."
"How about you Megan," I asked the red-headed 13-year-old who stands taller than me. "What would you say about your mom?"
Megan smiled as she looked down at the floor and shrugged. "I have so much I want to say but I just don't know how to say it." **Tip- when people say this, just shut up. Seriously. Just be quiet and let them think. They have all the words they need. They just need a moment to organize them** "We have jam-out sessions," Megan said, smiling big. "She's the fun mom. She's always at all my stuff."
I nodded my head and smiled. Of course Michelle would be the fun mom who takes extra time and energy to rock out in the car with her youngest daughter. Of course Michelle would understand that something so simple would leave an unforgettable impact on her daughter. "And I trust her," Megan said just as her mom opened the door and gave us a twirl in a dress that looked like it was made just for her.
Michelle has made the hard choice to live. She's made the hard choice to keep going even when it's painful. She could have tapped out and said it's all too hard and lonely. But early on she chose to buckle up and rid.
"I'm gonna rock this!" Michelle said, her eyes shining and a smile on her face. "I'm gonna rock this! I tell my girls we're gonna do this together. We will not hide from the world. I can't be afraid of things. WE can't be afraid of things. This is just something that happened to us. This does not define us."
Our pain in life doesn't define us so we shouldn't hide from the world as if our dance with tragedy has forever marred us making us ugly, broken, and tuneless.
There are car jam-out sessions to be had.
Games to cheer at.
Pictures to take.
People to love.
Smiles to share.
There is, and will always be, life to be had.
So, no hiding.
You've got a life to live.
Best get to it.
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