Part 2 – The Journey

My husband Steve and I mapped out our trip to NY to include a stop there and back in St. Louis where his aging parents live. Both have been diagnosed with forms of dementia and it had been nearly three years since he had seen them. We got the house ready for the renters and left Sunday morning on our journey.

At the last minute, my 18-year-old stepson Will decided to join us and we were off. Here is our first video:

Kona and Joey Leaving

It took us 15 grueling hours with many stops for us and the dogs along the way. Here we are at the Colby KS Prairie Museum. It was hard to find because just about everything looks like a giant prairie museum out there, but the big sign was a dead giveaway!

Kona and Joey Colby

Around Midnight we stopped in Kansas City for something to eat. The fast food was NOT fast and it left me with some time to think. It was hot, humid, and both dogs looked pretty miserable. I had an overwhelming feeling come over me that “this just isn’t right.”

Are we really going to drive all the way to NY? I tried my best to push the thoughts aside and get back to “why not me?” But it was nagging at me for sure.

Dog vs. dog

We finally arrived in St. Louis at 3am and took a quick nap until Good Morning America was on first thing in the morning! To my delight, Kona’s video was aired Monday morning, pitted against “Happy Jack” who jumps through hoops. Game on! I realized right then that I was in a home with no WiFi and was at a big disadvantage for trying to get the word out for votes. I posted a quick Facebook post with the link and got to a café as soon as I could.

Good Morning America Contest Footage

I sent out Facebook posts, e-newsletters and lots of individual emails. I tried to help people find the right link for voting and work through their frustrations of not being able to vote with a phone.

We even went to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to film one final push for votes!

Kona and Joey St. Louis

But Kona continued to lose in the online pole and by 3:30pm, I knew for sure that we were not moving on to NY. I was initially heartbroken. “What could I have done to make this go the other way?” There were many things I could have done differently for sure, but there were so many mitigating factors that I knew in my heart that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Losing the Contest… And Finding the Miracle

As I returned to my in-law’s home I realized why we were there and just what this journey was all about. Three years is far too long to not see your parents, especially when they may not remember you the next time you see them. It was great to watch my husband interact with his mom and dad, taking them on errands, and repairing things around the house. They won’t be able to live on their own much longer, and this was more apparent to us than ever as we spent time with them.

St. Louis FamilyIt was fantastic to take walks, reminisce about the past and just slow down for once. We had let life get in the way, preventing us from making the effort to really connect with family the way we should. Had we not promised a journey to NY to my stepson, I seriously doubt he would have made the journey to grandma and grandpa’s house in St. Louis. But he was fantastic with his grandparents, and we connected with him ourselves more than we have in many years.

As my friend Jana Stanfield says, “A dream is a direction, not a destination.” “It’s like a carrot on a stick.”

At first I was really disappointed, feeling as though the Universe had once again dangled that carrot in front of me, only to snatch it away. But in reality, the Universe had another miracle in mind. I had good intentions for getting Kona on Good Morning America, and hoped that somehow it would lead to more awareness for adopted dogs and allow me to give back to those agencies I believe in.

But what if, as Jana pointed out, Steve’s parents had unwittingly been manifesting a true, connecting visit from us all this time?

While we should always follow that bright shining object of attraction, in the direction of our dreams, the Universe may help us to correct that course to enable us to manifest the true miracles. If it hadn’t been for the Good Morning America contest, we may have never discovered that true gift, so for that I am grateful. Kona may have lost the contest (and of course HE doesn’t know that!) but we gained a priceless piece of our family back in the process.