yes, there was a hidden secret in the miss america top ten last night.
it's a secret that i'm sure many others from around our area know, in their own ways, but to me and my family, i will reveal our part.
Mackenzie Victoria Bart, formerly of brockway, pa, landed herself in the top ten, at the miss america pageant last night, as miss ohio. I know members of my family, and so many people in our area were excited to watch this great accomplishment.
but for me, as i watched mackenzie (Miss Ohio), make it to the next round, to the next round, to the next round, the secret I refer to began to unfold in my head.
i met mackenzie years ago.
her mom, worked with my brother in law at the pa state police barracks. i remember him talking about her (mackenzie and her sister, gabrielle), and the talented girls that they were. my mother in law and he, would go to the different places that she was performing and would come home raving about this special girl.
some years later, as my own sisters were getting older, they ended up in a few pageants. my sister shannon landed herself a spot in the miss pennsylvania pageant.
the road to miss pennsylvania was certainly not a cheap one. and most of the girls there had years of experience, training, and preparation for a competition such as this.
the beginning of the miss pennsylvania road for shannon, actually started in brockway, pa.
the pageant held there was organized by mackenzie's mom, janice.
mackenzie was a preteen at the time, and janice saw potential in my sister shannon.
janice took shannon completely under wing…helping to purchase her dresses, finding her the pageant swim suits that she needed…prepping her, (janice was learning the ropes herself), and literally holding her hand and walking her through the whole way.
it was a gracious, beautiful act on janice's part.
however, that is not the secret.
the secret is, that at this same time, janice and mackenzie started their own journey that ultimately landed them to where mackenzie stood last night.
and this night, was the beginning of where my family began to see the goals and dreams that janice and her mom would work tirelessly to fulfill.
the secret that time, rejection, hard work and a never ending vision of attaining a goal, would be lived out for all those around them to see.
i speak from experience, and as an adult:
it is not easy to keep focused on a goal.
it is not easy to not be caught up in life itself and the responsibilities it brings.
it is not easy to be a GREAT mother to all of your children.
it is not easy to keep your head up when your goal takes YEARS to attain.
but the secret in that miss america's top ten last night, is that you CAN DO IT.
if you remain focused on the goal that you KNOW you are being called to, it can happen - it does happen.
mackenzie and her mom showed us all.
maybe never even knowing they were revealing this secret in so many ways.
but those that have watched this journey…those that know janice…those that know their family…we are privileged and honored to have watched this often great life mystery, unfold and be revealed.
so from a dreamer…a parent…a sister...
congratulations mackenzie, and the entire bart family.
the crown you wear is one that you have shared with us all.
and the sparkle of it has and will reach more than you may ever know.
you are truly a beauty darling!