My name is Michele Marie, I am the daughter of George and Barbara… I am a spirit on a mission to bring a message to the world about what courage is, what it looks like, where it resides and how to use it to accomplish the goals you may have only dreamed of. I am embarking on a journey to use my qi power to overcome my many fears to help lead people on a path to encouragement… But the journey does not start here, the journey started some time ago…
My story begins the day I was born on a Thanksgiving many years ago..… Days after being born, I faced my first real challenge. My parents, physicians and medical staff did not think I would make it. I was born with pyloric stenosis, which was considered rare in a female. Ultimately the muscles that open to the stomach were virtually closed and so a surgery was needed to open that gastric sphincter and allow me to take in nourishment and survive. “Back then” the surgery was considered very risky—especially considering my tiny size. My parents recollect how they were prepared by the doctors that my survival was unknown. My father, in his absolute weakest moment of despair, confronted the doctor and begged him to do whatever necessary to ensure my survival… My parents tell of the doctor cautiously watching me for the 24-48 hours after the surgery, repeating that it was touch and go. By the grace of all that is good and right, I was meant to survive….
Since my earliest memories, I have been mesmerized with the virtue of courage. I remember always being willing to volunteer to take on the difficult challenges both on the sports fields , and also in discussions of ethical and moral nature. Most often, I was not afraid to express my views with the understanding that my sharp, but sincere, tongue could provoke a fiery discussion or argument. I think most days my parent s interpreted my expressiveness as argumentative… my Grandmother, on the other hand, found it refreshing! You see, I spent many days at my Grandmother’s house, a sort of “safe haven” from the large family of eight I was born into. My Grandmother was my saving grace from the stresses of life. She was loving, forgiving, humorous, happy, and adventuresome, but most importantly, motherly, when my own Mother was not able to be… growing up with her as my guide allowed me to evolve into the person I am today and I am forever grateful for her love and kindness… And although my Grandmother influenced the early days of my life, my Father influenced the latter years of my life. My father was the epitome of what courage represents… he wasn’t a perfect or well-known man, but if people knew the adversity he overcame, they would stand in awe and appreciation for what he gave to this world… and yet most would never know his story.… My father recently passed on from this life, but the memories, stories and strength he gave me will surely last my lifetime. He has influenced my decision to take on this challenge and I will share his story on this Quest, as a loving tribute for all that he has gifted me with … It is through his story that I hope to remind us all that courage does not always wear a uniform or is represented by a medal or other form of formal honor… sometimes courage is modestly hidden within… with no expectation to ever have it be recognized.
There are many stories that sandwich the day I was born until this very moment.. I will spare you the embarrassing and boring details, but as I move along this Quest, I will share more about how this mission has come to be, more about who I am and why I chose to spread this message in the hopes of inspiring and motivating others to be nothing less than courageous!
For now, the only truly important detail to know about who I am, is that I Iive in the shadow of statuesque mountains … they represent what I wish to become and humble me when I think of the challenge they pose … The white on their ridge tops remind me of the growth that is being nourished underneath that layer of snow… They challenge me with their rugged terrain and they provide breathtaking views from the very summit I work hard to climb to… reminding me of my goal…
“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy” – Og Mandino
Let the Quest for the Qi2Courage begin….