Emphatically blinking to hold back the tears, her aged but youthful eyes spoke for her. In a moment though, her glossed over and molten eyes released the flow of tears that stained her flawless almond colored skin.
Three years senior my daughter, this young woman is experiencing the harsh realities of life. Life as a single mother of a three-year old. Life as a daughter to a mother who has grown tired of mothering. Life as a role model for her younger sister, whose same mother has grown tired of mothering her too. Life as a divorced mother, who is uncertain about the future.
I listened attentively. She thanked me for sharing my story at the luncheon. Even better, she tells me that she had felt discouraged, but the speakers at the luncheon influenced her to believe that quitting is not an option. In spite of her situation, she attends college and is working hard to carve a better future for herself, her child and her baby sister. Her journey is one of challenge, but I’m convinced that she can overcome and continue to move forward. Quitting is not an option was the topic of today’s luncheon.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’ve trudging seems uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile,
but you have to sigh,
When your care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Someone whom I admire and have a great deal of respect for asked me to speak to a wonderful group of young ladies today. Young ladies that have been erroneously written off as failures, although I disagree! They are smart, creative, witty, strong-willed, determined, and rebellious but they are genuinely trying to see their way through dim clouds to a brighter future. They simply need nurturing, support, guidance, positive influences from patient women and adults who won’t quit on them.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Earlier in the day I was also inspired and emotionally struck by a conversation that I had with an extraordinary recent college graduate. Why extraordinary? For nearly four years, he fought, what seemed like an endless battle that most adults would have given up on.
As a young child, he came to the U.S. (undocumented) with his mother. He attended the public school system. He was raised by a single mother of two boys who earned modest wages. Most challenging? Peer pressure, the absence of his father, and the unsettling and dangerous community where he lived.
In spite of the obstacles and roadblocks, he sustained and ultimately acquired citizenship and graduated college. During college continued to work through obstacles, however he participated in many social and political groups and helped to raise $1,000,000 for his University! I am so proud of him. He accomplished what many said was impossible. Quitting was not an option for him.
Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when is seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worse,
that you must not quick.
Be inspired and do encourage others. Regardless of what ever it is that you’re moving toward, remember that quitting is not an option!
Happy Valentine’s Day!