Originally published on 3/23/2020 on Construction2Style
When I think of a champion, I picture the person I want to be, a mentor, someone who will take you under their wing and show you the way. That person has to be successful and possess something valuable. Something you want and are willing to strive for. It could or should be someone who has done something in their life for the greater good, like saving someone’s life and it doesn’t have to be a physical rescue.
Initially, I thought my brother would have been that person and he could have been but it just didn’t end up that way. I always looked up to him, I went to the University of Minnesota because of him, and after graduation, he was more than willing to help me get off on the right foot.
However, as life went up, my addiction and actions put a wedge between us. Since starting my recovery, rebuilding my relationship with my brother has been a major focal point. I appreciate everything that my brother has done for me over the years. Regardless of what I’ve done in the past, he never cut me out completely, and he will continue to be someone I look up to and seek advice from. I wanted him to be my champion and in a way, he is because he is supportive, loving, and a great brother. But this exercise calls for something extraordinary.
I had to think of someone who has put some serious time and investment into me. Someone who has been there since the beginning and every step of the way, regardless of my actions. The extraordinary part happened somewhat recently, and I didn’t even realize it until I was asked to think of a champion in my life.
I started running through every man who I’ve looked up, and then I caught myself.
Why does it have to be a man?
When I take this in and digest it, I think of my champion, and the person I see is my sister.
Morgan is the person that I want to be. She has become my mentor over the last year. She has come and visited me religiously over the past 6+ years while I have been incarcerated. The first visit was months after she delivered my nephew, Greyson, and she brought my daughter all the way from Minneapolis to Milan, Michigan.
She didn’t fly, that would have been too easy for her, so she drove them, and I don’t have access to Google maps, but I am guessing it took at least 14-15 hours. She came twice out to Milan, and then once I moved closer, to Yankton, SD, she made sure to come at least twice a year, every year after that.
She has made sure to put money on my books, answer the phone when I call, and send me pictures and letters, keeping me in the loop about the outside world. All the while repeatedly telling me how terrible of a sister she is.
As far as success, she has it, whether you look at her construction business, interior design business, or the blog.
She has an amazing marriage to a great guy that treats her well. I mean for goodness sake the man built my mom a replica of a $1,200 dining room sideboard for Christmas, just because she left a magazine at their place and mentioned that she loved it. So he bought the supplies and built it. Never stood a chance of escaping the family after that.
Even in the areas where she is imperfect (if you let her tell it), like parenting, marriage, housekeeping, meeting deadlines, sending me stuff in a timely manner (okay that last one is on me), and she is willing to put all those flaws out on full display for everyone to read on her blog. I guess you can say she has plenty of things that I want.
Then there is the rescue, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t have been fine without her because you never know, but there is a chance that she quite possibly saved my life (this is assuming I turn my life around after my release). But at the very least, she has improved my chances because she has taken me under her wing, she is my mentor, and I am her muse. She gave me an outlet to express myself. It’s her vulnerability that inspired me to be so open about my life experiences. Without my writing, I wouldn’t be where I am today, happy.
I’m a recovering addict, which means I’m susceptible to falling apart at any moment. I also have thoughts of self-doubt and insecurities that I’ve harbored my entire life. But she still put that aside and let the damaged, broken, and full of baggage me represent her brand through first telling my story and then writing about whatever crazy idea comes to my mind. This was probably not the smartest business move she has ever made, but maybe it’s just crazy enough to pan out.
I love you, Morgan, you are my champion!