Bring – It – On16 Jan 2010, by Uncategorized in
With less than two weeks until my flight leaves JFK International and arrives in Kolkata, India, I find myself with a familiar feeling in the final stages of preparation. It’s as if anxiety, thrill, and tentativeness all collide inside me. Holding on to the moments of the “me” before – the familiar daily rhythms, the ease of routine, the casualness of the everyday. All while knowing I am ripe for an experience and evolution that has lived in my heart for months. The books are read, the movies watched, the conversations spoken, questions asked, errands checked off. While I have never taken a journey quite like this, I have lived this pattern again and again giving birth to five children in eight years. The emotions are similar and the mental preparation has been almost identical. I know what it’s like to prepare to have your life changed. And as the day creeps closer, in the still of the night, worry is slowly replaced with a calming Bring – It – On. And that, my friends, is where I currently find myself.
Though there is great hesitation to those that – however temporary – I’ll leave behind. My five babies – Gregory 10, Brendan 7, Ella 5, Lily 3, and Cassidy 2 will stay with my husband Adam who will be running the entire show. Please don’t pity him, for this is the kind of husband that has no issues being in the trenches of the daily plow with his family. And his only hesitation for my adventure, was that he too wanted to travel with TEN to India, indeed he “called it” first. And as we poured over human trafficking and sex slavery documentaries last spring and summer, we ached to have this experience together. Ultimately we agreed that women’s rights have lived in my heart since childhood, I’ve run our household for ten years, and simply put, it was my time. This trip belonged to me. This first journey, I would take alone.
So my final stage of preparation is reflection on the path that brought me here. My cup is overflowing with gratitude to my family, friends, neighbors, community organizations, and strangers that have donated to my trip. To the crucial ones – the first donors – my parents, my sisters, my soul sister, my in-laws, my uncles – thanks for loving me enough to “get it”. I love you unconditionally – the only way you’ve ever loved me. To the women that attended my 30th yoga birthday and offered donations in lieu of gifts – I love you. It was no accident that the amount of money donated that night, was the exact cost of my airfare. You will carry me to India and carry me home. To my children that collected change around the house – each coin found was a “prayer for the survivor girls” then housed in a jug that read “Send Mommy to India”. I love you for sharing your Mommy with the world. To a local charity for giving all they could – thank you. To the local business that proudly took donations for TEN in their store front on our behalf – thank you. To my childhood friend that made my first paypal donation – thank you. To my college buddy that heard the story through facebook – thank you. To my son’s teacher that blew me away with her generosity – thank you. To my children’s seventy seven year old great-great aunt who sent money, books, and endless tales of her travels abroad throughout the past sixty years – thank you. To the family at youth basketball that stuffed a check in my hand in passing – thank you. To my good friend that sold a gift card for cash and insisted I take it – thank you. To those of you that drank Coors Light or Diet Coke and piled all your empty cans and bottles in your basement for months, only to bring them to our redeemable drive in the pouring rain – thank you. And to my fairy godmother that planned it – thank you. To the survivors of slavery that made the beautiful products for me to sell as an ambassador – I know in my heart you will be ones that I can never thank enough.
I hope you all choose to take this journey with us and check in with the volunteer blogs throughout our trip. Say your prayers, hold on tight, just please don’t look away.
See you in India!