The Stubbornly Persistent Optimist

An Open Letter to My Mother
The Woman Who Would Not Allow Today's Problems Dim Tomorrow's Potential

Scene 1: The Farm

During my early childhood, it was often just the three of us. You, Danny and I would hang at home as dad traveled the world, the hairy American representative taking on hairy counterparts from Russia, Iran, Bulgaria and other hairy nations.

Childhood is often remembered in short blips, glimpses through the curtain of time as it flutters in the wind. Due to the atmosphere you created for us,  those peeks into the past reveal only smiles and laughter. It wasn't until much later in life, with perspective gained, that I was able to understood just how amazing the reality you created for us really was.

I can't recall a single time during childhood that I was unable to pursue any dream or activity due to limitations you placed on me. In fact, limitations were something you refused to let me believe in. When teachers expressed their worries over my inability to focus, you encouraged me to dream more often and bigger. From an early age, you enforced in me a belief that I had the intelligence to execute on any vision I chose to pursue.

Scene 2: The Fight

Obviously there has been enough documentation about what we went through. The murder, the trials, the media and the turmoil of it all. However you should know that, despite fighting the monster that is the duPont fortune while simultaneously running a world class wrestling club, you never felt absent.

You were there at my basketball games to cheer me on and you served as a second mother to dozens of kids when our household became the local meetup for half of my middle school and high school. You were even physically present in some of my high school classes, much to my surprise and chagrin, when professors had complained that I was acting out far too often. You didn't just meet some obligatory parental requirement, despite the world thrusting challenge after challenge at you. You excelled as a mother when times were toughest.

Scene 3: The Failure to Launch

I certainly didn't aid in alleviating any of the stresses you were forced to face. Instead of good grades, I presented you with suspensions, drugs, profanity-laced fights, gangster friends, gangster enemies, the rare 0.0 grade point average and an astounding six different high schools with no degree to show for it. Kids have been disowned for less.

Still, you never hurt me on a personal level when dealing with my continual disappointments. You tackled each issue in a vacuum and always expressed your complete faith in my innate abilities and my potential from a truly genuine place. Somehow you continually instilled faith in myself, even when positives were hard to find.

Scene 4: The Future

Your persistent optimism eventually paid off. I put that confidence you provided me into action and started performing. I leveraged the knowledge you gave me and the network you built, and continue to feel limitless because of it all. Thank you so much for all you have done and sticking with me through all the volatility, the continual ups and downs, and never making me feel like anything less than exceptional.

My achievements henceforth will be a testament to your own as a mother. I love you.

Comment Stream

3 years ago

As the tears stream down my eyes, I am taken aback to days that were carefree and have honored your mom, yet more than just acknowledging her ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you have represented the class act that you have become. Life always is challenging. Yet, it is how you chose to handle those challenges that represents character. As Victor Frankl once said, "the last of the human freedoms is the freedom to chose how to respond to any given situation." That within it of itself is truly all that we can control. You have grown and become the conscientious young man within our society that gives me so much hope for our future. Your mother modeled this choice by choosing to not wallow in depression, but to find that light. I could not be more thankful for being a part of your childhood, your "fun" obstinate years as a teenager, and now the embracing, caring, considerate young man you have become...Thank you...Your father would be so very proud...We surely are!!!!