How I found my resilience or GRIT
My father has played such an important role in my life; He represents the best and worst, in me. At age 31, when I was one year old, he was diagnosed with melanoma.
Young father and husband to new baby and beautiful wife, he made a serious decision that changed all of our lives for the better.
No matter what, he promised himself; that if he survives this, he is going to go for the career and life of his dreams.
No matter what his friends or family think; even when his ideas are so far out of reach for his immediate circle to grasp and they think he has lost his mind.
When he survives and has another chance at life, he will not waste one day or settle for less out of life again.
He came out of surgery with both legs fully functioning and attached with cancer gone for the foreseeable future. Luckily it was much more shallow than they had originally thought. The prognosis for healthy living was 5-10 years and most likely cancer would come back.
That was in 1979; He is now 68 and cancer free. A miracle truly happened that day.
The miracle I am referring to, is his ability to make dreams a reality; making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak or true GRIT.
Since he was given a relatively clean bill of health, he put the petal to the metal and began fulfilling his promise to himself and his young family.
He began living life fully with furious meaning and intensity.
He left his comfy 9-5 corporate job for something more challenging, the
Energy Coordinator of the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. Luckily through his hard work, hustle, and likability with his city street connections, and ability to laser focus and teach himself through years of independent study; he was able to achieve this dream position, helping the city he grew up in.
My early childhood memories are filled with afternoons spent visiting the Mayor’s office on the top floor of city hall and looking down from the tall view, my belly had butterflies and I thought this is power. The full floor to ceiling windows and having the view of the city beneath me, gave me my first real taste of success, achievement, and status.
Why does he still inspire me?
He is now 68 years young, he is still an entrepreneur, he is SSE, Successful Sustained entrepreneur of almost 40 years.
He has a level of self discipline that is similar to military, though he was never enlisted.
He came from lack and sometimes struggles with holding onto the negatives; that being
the same story from the generation before him, or alibis, blaming outside factors (economy, depression, large corporations, government) for his company’s so close to the big one, he can taste it, self defeatist mentality.
His dialogue now seems more of a victim of circumstance than the hero that I so strongly remember.
This is what inspires me. This is what makes him great. This is what makes him real. He is human, and he keeps trying. He still makes calls, he still networks, speaks, and writes to help educate others in energy efficiency; his field of choice for 40 years, before it was cool, trendy or popular. It is his passion, and it is his drive.
What drives me, is his ability despite major setbacks called life; to keep going. He set a serious goal this year of 2016 to take his four grandkids to Disney World, despite some financial setbacks, and he met his goal. Good for you, dad!
I am my father, with the beauty and gifts of my mother and myself wrapped in.
Thank you Dad; you keep me strong and keep me fighting to be better and do more every day I walk this earth. Because of you, I never gave up. Because of you I am GRIT, I am power and I am resilient.