Of course it is probably premature to talk about this.
Of course I'm going to anyway.
My father (who died suddenly in June of 2011) brought me up to always try to give back to any community I serve, as he did for those he served (and they were plentiful).
The mission of all these endeavors is to provide support, community, resources and comfort to women struggling with addiction or alcoholism, or simply looking for a safe place to explore their drinking, or to provide income to support these endeavors.
So I created a new website/organization with the goal of creating a not-for-profit that will be the umbrella organizations to all the endeavors.
I did a lot of soul searching when I was laid up with cancer; I had a lot of time to think. As I've written about recently, it gave me this overpowering feeling to do something with my life, and not to aggressively wait for it to come to me, to take action, do my best and be ready for ANY outcome.
I can only do the next right thing, get advice from loved ones and professionals (which I'm doing) and hope that this dream will become a reality. I know it may not work, and I know it's a heart-dream because I'm okay with trying and failing with this project WAY more than I'm okay with not trying at all.
I've been afraid to start plenty of new ventures for fear of failing, but not this one.
There will be way more to come about Shining Strong, and it will take months to get all the pieces in place. But I can get the footprint out there on the internet, get the infrastructure in place so if and when it becomes and official non-profit I am ready to go.
I'd be honored if you'd check out the brand spanking new website here, (be kind, grammarians, spell-checkers and designers .. it is in its infancy and is only barely ready for viewing).
I also created a new facebook page, and if you'd come "like" it, it would make me really happy. :) If you're up to it, it would be awesome if you'd follow the brand-new Twitter Page, too. It's very lonely there at the moment.
I dedicate all of this in honor of the legacy of my father, who instilled in me - with my mother right beside him, doing the same, only I'm lucky enough that she is still here, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me and cheering me on - the importance of giving back, especially when someone has given freely of themselves to you, like the women (and men) in my recovery community do for me every day.
I love you, Dad. I hope you're up there smiling.