Love is a force to be reckoned with.

This week, I was mesmerized with the story of the mother who went to Egypt, currently one of the most treacherous places for Americans to travel, donned a burqa, and rescued her kidnapped son.

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Pennsylvanian Kalli Atteya had spent over two years and $100,000 to seek the return of her son, kidnapped by his Egyptian father, without success. Rather than give up, she took matters into her own hands.

Love can cause you to spend money you don’t have. Ms. Atteya spent $100,000. I did too, and I can tell her from experience, that’s just the beginning of the resources it will take to help her child recover from the kidnapping.

On a much smaller scale, I’ve been at it again, spending money that should go towards getting a 4 wheel drive to combat the Alaskan winters, or a flat-screen TV that my kids would love. On what? More writing classes! By the time my book’s ready for sale, it will need to be a best-seller to recoup my losses. But it’s been so much fun.

This weekend, I took a First Ten Pages Bootcamp from Writer’s Digest and the Anatomy of a Scene Workshop from  author Andromeda Romano-Lax at 49 Writers. Both were fabulous. I discovered I would have to dump my manuscript’s first page. Ouch. I had worked so hard on it. I loved it so. But for the love of the story, the love of learning to write, and the hope of publication, it’s gone. Ode to my preface. Here it was:

Sixteen years have passed since I brought my kidnapped daughters home from Greece. That’s just over a third of my life. My girls have re-learned to speak English, finishing grade school through high school. One graduated from college, and the other is closing in on her degree.
So why wait so long and tell the story now, when the crisis ended in 1996?
I didn’t want to share my story until I was comfortable that each of the three of us was doing well enough in our healing that we’d learned to incorporate our experiences into the present without imploding.  All that took time, and was even more work than making our way back to Alaska from the other side of the world.
 I believe that sharing my story will lift the intergenerational curse. My past will no longer be my daughters’ future.
           My daughters may choose to tell their own stories one day, but this is what I remember of mine. How I, an abducted child myself, grew up to experience my own children’s abduction. It’s about how I found my children, all by myself, and with the help of many.  And how during that journey, I found that underneath my layers of self-doubt was the capable person with the ability to 
endure that had been there all along.
Goodbye, Dear Preface.
And to end on a happier note, here’s evidence that love can push us to bravely moving out of our traditional roles. Here’s my kids’ friend and his family. If I knew where he lived, I would kidnap his cat.
All photos by Nicole Gaunt Photography
What crazy things has love inspired you to do?
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