Editors Note: I have started and stopped this piece 5x. Emotions can be difficult to put on paper:
Today marks the Day of Birth of my Mother. This is the 19th Birthday we have Celebrated since she passed away. An Amazing and Resilient Woman, she succumbed to Breast Cancer after a 5 year Battle that had many Hills and Valleys. I wanted to discuss how this Process, Her Life, Battle with Cancer, and Death, propelled me forward and continues to shape much of who I am.
My final year @Boston University, and for 2+ years after (save the 9 Months I spent abroad playing Football), I lived at Home with my Mother, my Step-Father Paul, and my Brother Al. Those years made me appreciate my Family, Sacrifice, and Love. The phrase, the Strength is in the Struggle, became very apparent to me in those 3+ years. Not only in my Mother, but also in those around her. My Step-Father, to this day, is the most giving person I have ever seen. Caring for my Mother, providing stability to her Family, and never for a moment placing his needs above anyone else's. Although I believe he taught me how to be Selfless, I do not know if I will have his Strength in Crisis. My Brother never hid his emotions, and had made Peace with the outcome long before I. He was Consistent, a Trait I have found more Valuable than any other when applied correctly. My Mother was Strong. She believed in Perspective. She thought of Positive Outcomes for all of us when her Opportunity for one had long since vanished. There was no Right or Wrong, there was Life, and we were Living it.
My Family (and to a Great Degree, My Father and a few Incredible Coaches I was fortunate enough to Play for/Work with) shaped how I feel about Today. Not the Today, my Mother's Birthday, but the Today-Why Everything Matters/Choices/This Moment Now- how I Think and Feel. I often indicate I want to Change my Opinion as soon as I receive better Information, and try to uphold that at great expense (Time/Effort/Structure). Where I will Resist this Concept, is the Present Tense of Now. Now is Important all the Time. I will always lack the Patience of Waiting to Begin, Waiting to Start, or just not using Now to it's fullest potential. I would have liked to enjoy many more "Now's" with my Mother. With our Family. With that Happiness. When I Coach, I Coach in the Now, and hope that while you Understand the Journey/Process/Structure is extremely Important, it is comprised of countless "Now's" that should be utilized without compromise. I don't believe I will ever think any different.
At the End, I spent most of every day hoping my Mother would pass on and end a suffering existence. There was no sorrow the last month, just a hope that this frail vessel that was My Mother, with no Sight, Hearing, or Ability to Communicate, would complete her Journey. I felt relief for my Brother and Step-Father when she died, but no sadness. Watching someone Mentally and Physically disappear had long since stolen any anguish I possessed. In fact, I cried incredibly hard for days when each of my Dogs: LJ, and Midori, passed. I was unprepared for their sudden departure and form tears as I type this now. My Mother's death made me Live. I became a Full-Time Coach. I saw Excitement in helping others see the Perspective she wanted me to see. I saw less Value in Money and more Value in Time. Essentially, I started to grow up.
You should waste as little time feeling sorry for me as you do feeling despondent over this post. This is a Tribute to the Woman (and my Family) who Taught, Loved and Pushed me further than I would have ever gone were it not for her (their) Courage in Life and in the face of Death. I know what motivates me, not because of a mark on the Calendar, but because of the many Moments that Special People have shared with me. Those Moments, and the ever-present "Now's" that fill and enrich our existence, are your Currency to Live. Everything, from Inchworm to Attitude, from Spiderman to Structure, and from "Now" until "Then", Matters. It is worth going "All-In" on Everything. Now you know why....
I am hoping to meet my Mom @Success...