As a girl from small town Minnesota, the thought of working in the United States Senate in Washington, DC for my rabble rousing hero Senator Paul Wellstone was beyond belief. I started answering the front office phones for the Senator just 2 months after graduating from College and for the next 8 years, I worked the spectrum of crazy campaign and senate office jobs for Paul and his amazing wife Sheila.
While I thanked Paul and Sheila countless times for their hard work and for the opportunity to learn and grow from them professionally, I never got the chance to tell them how they monumentally changed the course of my own life.
So, I want to take this opportunity to share just a few…
Thank you for gathering together some of my best friends; the kindest, smartest, funniest, and most loyal people in the world. On a daily basis, I continue to learn, laugh and become a better person from those you surrounded yourselves with.
Thank you for giving a retired high school history teacher from Buffalo, Minnesota the time of his life. When I volunteered my Dad to drive the Wellstone Bus for a few parades, I had no idea for the next 6 years he would be on the road driving the Senator and his family, meeting dignitaries and many of his personal heroes. It changed his life and my family forever.
Thank you for giving me the energy, confidence and chutzpah to leave Minnesota and go organize low income workers in places like Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina. You taught me there is no struggle to small or too large to take on.
Thank you for showing me what absolute love looks like. I had never been around two people who loved each other more than Paul and Sheila Wellstone. Know that your love and devotion to each other has taught me to never settle for less and I never miss the opportunity to tell those I love how much they mean to me!
I left Minnesota shortly after the plane crash and have only recently found my way back home to be closer to family and friends. I am looking forward to spending time on this heartbreaking 10th Anniversary not reliving that unimaginable day in October, but all of those thousands of incredible days that preceded it.
Thank you and I miss you every day Paul, Sheila, Tom, Mary, Marcia and Will!