548810_10100161313214293_368889201_nLast night as I sit at a table surrounded by enpowering, inspiring women, something that my aunt Cheryl says strikes me: availabilty.

Over the holidays my mom, sister, and cousin Sara began making infinity scarves as presents. But somehow it began to grow. They began selling them like crazy. When they got a big order and needed to make 100 scarves we all jumped in. Angelica spent 3 hours in line on the day after Thanksgiving just to get fabric cut. We took shifts cutting. My grandmother’s dining room table become overrun and weighed down with three working sewing machines, as Sara, Amanda, and I put the pedal to the medal sewing straight lines, as my grandma worked away in her office. In the living room, mom circled up her sister Gina and Cheryl to teach them how to finish up. Angelica stepped into to cut when needed and played the role of godmother, taking care of not only Trenton but Brody and Gavin (which was real work as they rapidly stripped down naked, dancing around with their underwear on their head). Doug managed, making sure we were all taken care of and that things were in place. Jenna brought a round of refreshments and much-needed caffeine (as well as the list of must-have sushi list). We banded together to accomplish the task.

What Cheryl said at our celebration sushi dinner was how proud she was. Of not only how we came together and how the simple beginning has blossomed to crazy sales, a website and talks of parties and festivals. But really what struck is the availability we have. If Sara said she needed more scarves, anyone of us would step up to produce what she needed.

But the availability steams further than just scarves. Coming home that’s one of the things I’ve noticed is so valuable to my life. I know there are people without support systems. Who are alone. Who don’t have a relationship with their families. Who claim their own mothers don’t like them. That is hard for me to fathom because I do have this availability. Even though we can drive each other nuts or fight, we are always accessible to each other. I can call any Paulin or Dreher or any friend and they will be there in a heartbeat.  No questions asked, we are connected. I think of when we had our car accident. My aunt Marti’s school in Texas raised money for our family. My cousin Melinda’s first grade class in Houston sent me cards. People that did not know us were so willing to reach out a helping hand. That is powerful.  Just Friday in the car my Grandmother related a story of her taking my aunt Val to her destination when she missed her trained. Driving her the distant. Val told her that no one had ever done anything like that for her. My friends are the same, as Tab like define the depths of our friendship- I would be the one to help bury the body (of course this is in jest to go along with her occasional temperament). I have an abundance of availability around me.

Last night after we returned home, my mom comes to tell good night, ‘I wanted to make sure you knew I wasn’t ignoring you.’ It is a beautiful thing to have people vying for your attention (at the moment my nephews, brother, sister-in-law, cousin, uncle, grandmother and father were all wanting a bit of Susan). To have people available to you. Not everyone has that.

Be thankful for availability, but also give it. Go above and beyond for others.


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