Through the Eyes of a Child — A Story of a Role Model

Independence, Ohio in 1992.

I was feverishly smashing on my Sega controller trying to advance to the next level of Sonic the Hedgehog, when I heard a gentle knock on my bedroom door. It was my Dad. “Jer, do you have some time to talk?” I quickly replied, “You bet. “

For some reason, my stomach dropped. I felt something was not right. I proceeded to walk downstairs to find out. It was unusual. My parents were sitting on separate couches in our family room. After I sat down on the sofa with my mother, my Dad informed me that he had something to tell me. My brain was racing….

He then proceeded to tell me that his life was leading him another direction. A new direction. What does that mean? A new job. Not exactly. He then went on to explain that he and my mother were getting divorced, and that he going to be moving out in a few weeks.

I couldn’t believe it. My Dad was moving out. I could not comprehend the thought of not having him in my life. After all, he was not just my Dad. He was the cool Dad. He was my buddy, my coach. He was the Dad that drove us to the ice cream store in his pickup truck. My Dad was also the breadwinner. I couldn’t help to think about how my mom and I were going to make ends meet.

Several weeks after my father moved out, my mother and I were sitting on the couch again. Only this time we were watching an episode of our favorite show, Golden Girls. My little Sicilian mother was down, but she was not out.

My mom then asked me if I would be OK if we both moved in with grandma and grandpa. Deep down I was scared, but given that I was raised in a small town where kid’s parents rarely got divorced, I was ready for a change. In addition to moving, my courageous mother also shared with me more exciting news. At age 33, she was going to go college!!

To many families this news would not have be a big deal, but to our family this was huge news. My mother was the first person in our family to go to college. Many people in this world crumble in the face of trials and adversity, but not my mother. At her lowest point, she dug deep and courageously took the boldest step of her life. A step that would change the trajectory of not only her life, but mine as well.

During her college days, my mother never missed a single ball game. Despite having a full course load and a very active teenager, my mother still managed to graduate valedictorian!!

After earning her undergraduate degree, my mother then actively pursued her next dream. She enrolled in law school for night classes. To this day, I still have vivid memories watching my mother and her college classmates preparing for law school exams. After finishing law school she proceeded to work at a mid-size law firm for a short period. She then was moving on to her next dream. Opening up her own law firm!!! Many people discouraged her from doing so, but she had a entrepreneurial dream and she went for it.

Thank you mother for dreaming big, and for always having the courage to pursue your dreams. Watching you through the eyes of child has inspired me to always shoot for the stars. I am eternally grateful for you. My role model, my inspiration, my mother.


Originally published at www.drwilmink.com.

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