Beyond The Business
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
How A Network of Care Helped Me Save My Son
By KELLY HENDRICKS
Many of us joined NAPMW for similar reasons, educational opportunities, a friend brought us, or an employer asked that we get more involved in a trade association. For one reason or another NAPMW was a good fit to foster personal and career growth. It is an association dedicated to the advancement and education of women. Within our local associations we meet, educate, and network but what happens outside of our meetings is what, in my opinion, is the true strength of NAPMW.
Don’t get me wrong, NAPMW has afforded me the opportunity to grow as both an individual and in my career by providing me the skills to participate and lead an organization, but it is beyond the business of the association that has kept me dedicated for so many years.
I can’t think of a better example than this past week, and what a crazy week it has been. It started with the usual hustle and bustle of juggling the kids’ schedule and making my way off to work. This week was especially harried as Evan, my 14-year-old son, was off at scout camp in New Mexico and it would be a week before he was off the trail and I was able to talk with him.
I made my way through my normal Monday routine and heading off to my weekly chapel visit.
I look forward to my hour of solitude and quiet time I don’t often find any other time of the week. As I made my way home I started planning my next day in my mind, what to do with my 10-year-old for the day since his big brother, aka babysitter, was off on his great adventure. But when I walked in the door I saw a look of concern on my husband’s face, and I knew it was something about Evan and camp.
I sat down at the kitchen table to find out Evan had injured himself climbing a mountain at Philmont Scout Ranch and had been taken off the trail and now occupied a tent hospital at base camp. Evan was nearly 900 miles away and all I knew is he had hurt his leg and had to go over two miles on crutches down a mountain before they could safely get him on an ATV and off to medical attention. There I was, with so many questions and few answers, wondering what I could do. Shortly after, we received a phone call from a 4th year resident at camp who calmed me down, a little, and said we would re-evaluate Evan in the morning to see if they could get him back on the trail.
The Helpful Touch Of NAMPW Friends
Tuesday morning rolled around and the news was not good. I found myself trying to figure out how to get to New Mexico as soon as possible. There I was in my office talking to my son who was scared and in a tent hospital with no one he knew. I rushed off to pack and get to Evan. The fastest way I could find was a three-and-a-half hour drive to Kansas City to catch a train to Raton, New Mexico. The train left at 10:45 that evening and that is when the stress really set in. Driving to an unfamiliar city, at night, was not a good thing for me. My vision is marginal at best in daylight and the thought of driving at night trying to find a train station was overwhelming. But off I went.
It was then that I remembered a lunch I had the day before with fellow NAPMW member Karen Hacke. She was leaving Tuesday for sales calls in Kansas City and that is when my struggles started to ease. I also knew another NAPMW member, Lisa Renfrow, who called KC home. I gave Lisa a call to find out how far her house was from the train station and if she was available for me to stop by for the evening, awaiting my train. Lisa had already made plans to have dinner with Karen so I had a place to go for the four hours I had to wait. Lisa and Karen went to work finding the best place for me to wait, which happened to be Karen’s hotel. Karen called ahead to the hotel and there was a key waiting for me so I could freshen up before my 13-and-a-half hour train ride began. They took me to dinner, finding a restaurant only a mile from the train station so I could easily find my way, and spent the evening taking my mind off my son. Lisa showed up with a bag of goodies for my trip: a pillow, blanket, snacks and plenty of magazines to occupy my time. As the time drew near for my train to depart they pointed me in the right direction and gave me the last bit of support a mom would need, a warm hug and words of encouragement.
The next two days were the hardest I have dealt with, but after 27 hours of train rides and a drive back from KC to St. Louis, Evan and I were both home safe and sound. Although it was just dinner and a bag of stuff to some, it was the support and encouragement outside of our careers that drives the passion of so many within NAPMW. It is the celebration of success, both business and personal, the words of encouragement, the kind words and acts in times of need that go beyond the business of the association and inspire so many of us in all aspects of our lives.
Kelly Hendricks is president of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women, www.napmw.org. She can be reached at email@example.com.