Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Can You Have It ALL? What the Crazy IS ALL?

Since I was a young woman I have heard many discussions (some of them quite heated), about the idea of "Having it ALL."  To the best of my knowledge that means that it IS possible to have a career, a husband, home, and children. 

I never had a "Career."  I had many jobs because we needed to eat, pay rent, and wear clothing.  My job provided us with Healthcare Insurance, and free tuition for much of my husband's college education.  My husband also always worked.  He several years he worked free-lance types of work to bring in money.  Then he went back to college and finished his under graduate degree.  Then moved on to Law School.  Some of the time he worked from his bed due to his multiple health issues. 

Did I have it ALL?

I wish to discuss for moment what the "IT" is that we refer to in the oft quoted and discussed statement, "Can you have it all?"  I would guess that IT refers to success in varied parts of our lives.  It is usually spoken in reference to women.  I don't hear as much about men who seem to be concerned with having "It all."

I would like to posit another type of ALL.  A woman gets a college diploma, a career, marries, and gives birth.  Now she has it all, right?  This kind of ALL comes with ALL kinds of responsibility, and how do you prioritize ALL of your life?  Is your career, (which in American Society usually allows very little flexibility for parents, Father or Mother) your first priority?  Or does this idea belong to your husband, children, or home?  What if you have ailing parents that need your care and protection.  This type of ALL gives you ALL of the imaginable headaches while attempting to prioritize to do ALL that you need to.

Or is the ALL that we are speaking about ALL the perks of financial success?  Does financial success give you freedom to spend more time with your family?  Or is this priority choice taking away time to be with your family?  I don't know about many incredibly FINANCIALLY successful people who can work 60 hours a week, and still have enough energy and time to be equally empowered in time with their family.  I personally think that the concept that "quality time is as valuable as quantity time" is a fallacy.   Time is precious.  Of course we want a quality to the time that we use for the most important priorities in our lives.  Yet when those priorities are not also given an important level of quantity the quality becomes is reduced.

When my husband became so ill that he spent almost three years in bed, we struggled brutally with financial need.  On the other hand, the girls knew that their Papa was ALWAYS there when they needed and wanted to be with him.  Nyle and I were stunned to find out that many able bodied people that we knew spent far less time with their children than we did even when we were battling with major health issues.  They used their abundant health for different priorities.  I do make a judgment here, not that others are better or worse because of their decision of values, but just that their values are different than my husband and mine.

If you have children, knowing that they will have to spend most of their young lives in the care of a Nanny because you and your husband are too busy to be with them more than 10 hours a week (except, of course, when they are asleep) why have children?  Do you choose to have children because that choice will reflect well on you in American Society?  Are your children more like accessories that you wear to improve your outfit?  Do you really want to bring a human being to this planet to feel less than in their parents priorities?

Life is filled with hard choices.  I personally believe that learning to make educated, faith filled choices is one of the best parts of life.  A small example from my life.  For a short time I owned my own childcare business.  This meant that sometimes I would have to go to a grocery store with 4 to 6 children at a time.  It was necessary to have strict rules to avoid total chaos.  The toddlers rode in the cart sitting down.  The older children had to hold on to the cart with one hand at all times.  It strictly was forbidden for anyone to take their hand off the cart, and begin to explore on their own.

I was amazed at how many people felt the responsibility to let me know that they completely disagreed with the idea that a person should have more than 2 children.  Since when did my reproductive decisions become subject to the general public?  I repeat, they weren't my children.  I grew weary quickly of explaining, "I have a childcare business.  These are not all my children."  Sometimes one or two of them were my children.

Each and every human on this planet has their limits. I am limited by poor health, lack of money, time, and distance.  Each and every one of us has limits, although not many of choose to own that idea.

One day, I reached my limit of listening to people say, "My you have your hands full!" in a manner that made me feel foolish for having more than one or two children.  My limit came when an elderly lady said in a smug, judgmental manner (I realize that in qualifying her as being judgmental, that makes me judgmental as well.  Isn't life interesting?) "My you have your hands full."  Without a single thought the words came flying out of my mouth, "Isn't that better than having your hands empty?"

She looked very surprised by my reply.  (She had no idea that I was more surprised by it than she was!) 

Thoughtfully she responded, "I never thought of it like that."

Here is a suggestion for myself, and if you like it, feel free to follow these steps yourself.  Take 15 precious moments to take inventory of yourself, and your priorities.  Use a pen and paper for this exercise (using a smartphone, or computer to list these ideas leaves you open to ever so many distractions.  Even if you do not struggle with Attention Deficit in any level, electronics have distractions awaiting you at every corner and thought.  (Yes, I know that I'm currently writing this post on a computer.  I also know that I'm distracted about every 2 minutes...and I DO have ADD!)  Sometimes I write my posts the old fashioned way, and THEN transfer them to the computer.

Back to the inventory suggestions.  (You may have noticed that I write lots, and lots, of asides.  Did I mention that whole ADD thing? lol)

1.  What is your number one priority?  Why do you count that activity as number one?

2.  List the order of priorities in your life.  For example, 1.  Career  2.  Family  3.  Church or spiritual involvement  4.  Service  5.  Home (It may even be wise to list the home needs, such as daily, weekly, monthly, yearly needs to keeping up a home.)  Be specific about those priorities.

3.  Explain to yourself WHY you prioritize in the method that you do? For example; My Papa and Mama always made God and family their first priority.  (God and family were not two different ideas to them.  They could not see a way to Love God, without loving their family, and vice versa.)  They followed lovingly the teachings of Christ, "Love the Lord with all thy heart...love thy neighbor as thyself..."  Notice that there is a less obvious commandment in these verses to love yourself.  "Love thy neighbor as THYSELF."  So, love God, your neighbor, and yourself in this level of priority was their bedrock for making decisions.  Their priorities were very much the same.  They were ever so different in other ways.  In spite of their personality differences, their united priorities kept their marriage strong through World War II, death of a child, raising a disabled child, all kinds of health issues, and then fostering children.  So write down your reasoning for your priorities.  This exercise would be very wise to take in connection with your fiance if you are looking towards marriage.  It's so much wiser to discover that your potential mate doesn't share your priorities...AT ALL before you are married.

4.  You have thought about your motivations and how they impact your priorities.  Take inventory of your current life.  Do you feel that your life matches your priorities?  Or do you need to change your life to bring it in line with your priorities?  If you need change, make a plan to accomplish this change.

5.  Last, but certainly not least, write down your strengths.  Write concrete ideas of how to use your strengths to create a life that matches your priorities.

Summarizing this post, you need to define in your own mind what ALL means to you.  You need to decide what you value most as priorities.  Do your best to be clear about YOUR priorities.  In other words, don't use anybody else's priorities, not even your spouses as you perform the above listed exercises.  If you and your spouse or fiance have very different priorities find a good therapist or clergy person to help you sort and think of ways to achieve compromise.  Set aside time to think and write down your priorities.  They will change as you move through life.  As a famous song declares, and the Bible declared before the famous song, "To every thing turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose under heaven..."   Your priorities may need to shift, adapt, arrange, and re-arrange as you travel through this journey that we call life.  Being mindful of what ALL means to you, and to your significant other can enrich your life in ways that will surprise you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrive Don't Just Survive (possible Chapter One second choice)

Before you read the following story stop breathing. That's right, hold your breath. Hold it from now until you finish reading this paragraph. The good news is that you may START breathing then. Imagine if you COULDN'T start breathing until you were in a car and drove to the nearest ER? Anyone seeing spots in front of their eyes yet? Dad came home one day from work to find Mama dozing in a chair holding me. (I was still an infant). My lips were blue from oxygen starvation. Away they flew to the hospital (did I just hear a rush of breath as one of you started to breathe?) where I was given oxygen. The doctor explained to my parents that because my asthma was so severe that they had to hold me all the time. They could never lay me down in a crib. I could have an attack and choke to death in minutes. (Rush of more people who are breathing again). So volunteers from our church group came and I was held in arms around the clock. (OK, you may breathe now).


I could barely speak well enough to call for my Father. It was the middle of the night, and I was having a major asthma attack. This was a terrifying thing to face as a small child of three years. I could barely speak because I could barely breathe.

Finally I got the breath to call Papa. Mama was there with him. My parents were completely united in their faith and family. So Papa gave me a blessing, with Mama's faith right there with his prayer. I knew that if they prayed for me, either my wheezing would stop and I would be able to sleep, or I would have the courage I needed to fight to breathe until we could get me to an oxygen tank.

Oxygen tanks were horrendously expensive. We couldn't afford one. Our wonderful neighbors had an oxygen tank. Mr. Bench had emphysema. So they would selflessly let me use their tank when I was too ill to make it to the ER...even in the middle of the night.

My parents struggled to battle their worries and anxiety over me with their faith that all would ultimately be fine. My health was a huge problem. This was the late 1950's and the only treatment for asthma was oxygen. There were no pills, puffs, or potions to cause the attack to release.

Sometimes we would drive an hour and a half away from home to Mt. Baldy. The altitude was higher, there was no pollution, and for all of those reasons my asthma attack would resolve. I would feel ever so much better up there where the “Air is free,” as they sing in Mary Poppins.

My parents moved us up out and all about trying to find a location that would work best with my asthma. In the summers we lived in Idaho, way out in the country. I did fairly well there, but all the wheat and hay seemed to trigger me in the late summer early fall.

We moved some of the time to Upland, CA, and sometimes to Ontario, CA. That was just slightly higher in elevation than our home in Pomona, CA. My family wandered for years to help keep me alive.

When my Father was transferred to Utah for his job my parents expected that my health would improve in the higher elevation, with virtually no air pollution. Unfortunately, I was even sicker that first year. I had Red measles, German measles, Three day measles, Streph Throat, and Mumps, first one side and then the other. Of course, each illness caused asthmatic complications. Again trips in the middle of the night to the ER, and frequently being admitted to the hospital. I almost died several times that year. It was my year of first grade. Out of nine months of the school year I was only able to attend for three months. Fortunately, my parents and our dear neighbor across the street tutored me so I did not have to repeat my first grade year.

In my teens my wonderful Dr. got me one a medical trial of a new medicine. It changed my life! I began to have better control on my asthma. I wasn't sick all of the time. No more frantic ER visits in the middle of the night. It was WONDERFUL!

Yet, during all of those fretful difficult years I learned wonderful life lessons. From my Mom I learned, “Most of the work in the world is done by sick people.” (I still have no idea where she found that interesting idea...but it helped me.)

From my Papa, “Life is precious, no matter what the circumstances, life is precious!”

They both had the rare and wonderful gift of seeing not only the glass half full, but brimming with potential liquid!! I am grateful every single day for such amazing parents. Not being able to breath well is extremely anxiety inducing. My parents learned to mask their fears for me. A doctor, when I was a mere babe told them that if I read the fear they felt it would make my wheezing worse.

When I was an adult and staying with my parents I had a horrible attack in the middle of the night. I awakened them because my throat closed and I was wheezing, and couldn't breathe. Mama said, “Oh for Heaven's sake don't choke to death before I can get my clothes on!”

This comment in the light of the dire life threatening circumstances struck my rather unique funny bone. I drew in breath to laugh and my swollen throat opened. Papa took me to the ER where I was treated and released.

My childhood is the foundation for the writing of this book, “Thrive Don't Just Survive.” The hard, life altering, near death experiences that I had have given me courage and perspective in the rest of my life. My dearest wish is to share these ideas with others to bless them and help them.

If I could lift even one soul, give them courage to face the hardest things that life can hand us...it would bring me great joy.

One of my favorite books of all time is “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. My copy of the book is ratty, a paperback novel that I have carried with me, and practically memorized. I wish to copy one of the things that he did in this book. At the end of each chapter he gave ideas for ways to overcome self-destructive behaviors and thoughts. I won't copy the information that he listed, these lists will be my very own. So, below is my first list.

  1. Breathe. Sit very, very still and breathe. Don't think of one other thing. Empty your mind completely of any other thoughts and just breathe. Breathe in...slowly and mindfully, and then breathe out. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes. That's right, set your smart phones for 5 minutes and just BREATHE! You can do ALMOST ANYTHING for 5 minutes right?

  1. Find a place where you are completely alone. Write down what it felt like to you while you were JUST BREATHING. Record sensations and emotions. You don't have to be fancy, just record what it felt like to focus on your breathing.

  1. You are in a stressful situation, at work, at home, anywhere, focus on your breathing, in...out. Breath in to the count of 10, breath out to the count of 10. Do this 10 times.
  2. Again when you are alone, record what breathing felt like in that moment of stress. Record both your physical and your emotional reactions. (You may write it, or record it on your smart phone. I prefer to write it in a journal for my grandchildren to read someday...technology does not stand up against time.)

Thrive Don't Just Survive (possible Chapter 1)


Tired and sick, sick and tired, tired and sick of being sick and tired! I had just finished a radiation treatment to beat back the cancer that had invaded my left breast. I passed an elderly man waiting for his treatment. It was obvious that he was terminal. Literally he was skin and bones. He looked as though every muscle in his body had simply atrophied and gone away.

The most remarkable thing about him was NOT his wasted status. There were plenty of people in that space and place that were emaciated from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. His smile was so bright that it seemed to chase away all the gloom. I was beyond thinking of anyone or anything beyond my own struggle, but he reached out to me.

Softly he said, “Remember, every day above ground is a cause for celebration.”

I tried to give him back a smile, but I'm quite sure that it looked more like a grimace. It was an empty action that felt too strenuous for my physical and emotional status.

One of the radiation therapists (In my world radiation is NOT therapy...it DOES kill cancer, and MIGHT save your life, but there is simply nothing THERAPEUTIC about it. It is a treatment, one that is very useful, but miserable.) loaned me a book. The years have melted away my memory of the title or author. I DO remember distinctly the overall message of the book.

The book spoke frankly about the many challenges and trials that life might hold. A hypothetical story was told about a man and his family that were wealthy, healthy, and had all the positive benefits that life could afford them. AND THEN...He lost his job, they almost lost their home, and continually struggled to pay bills, and feed their family. Then life grew better again. The man found a great job, and their financial troubles were over. AND THEN...the wife developed cancer, was unable to work, and often unable to care for the home or children. Their lives were once again filled with sorrow and turmoil. Until the wife's breast cancer went into remission, and she was able to resume her job. AND THEN...well I think you have gotten the pattern in this hypothetical.

The point was that if we spend our lives going up and down as circumstances seem to indicate our lives are going to be extremely stressful, and we will wear out from all the ups and downs. Their idea was that we needed to find joy, ESPECIALLY IN THE HARD TIMES! The book indicated that the wisest course in life was to not allow down to take YOU down.

That idea seemed so radical to me that I read and re-read the wonderful book. I wish that I had purchased my own copy. On the other hand the message of the book has carried me through life in many dire circumstances.

When my sweetheart, Nyle, died at the age of 54, I wanted to die with him. We had been married for 27 years. During those years of happiness and sorrow we had become family. I simply would never have considered leaving him...EVER!

We were empty nester's, our two lovely daughters were grown and out into their own lives. I cherished that time together with my sweetheart. The absence of his presence in my life was keenly sorrowful. I wanted to simply hide in bed and cry non-stop.

Anyone who has gone through the loss of a parent, sibling, child, spouse, or other types of familial loss understands what a shock it is to your entire system to watch this beloved one die. Then the adjustment of your family to a “New normal,” fills each moment with hurt, and sorrow. I truly wanted to die with my sweetheart. I could not bear the idea of continuing into a life that did not include him.

I had been blessed with the man of my dreams. Maybe it would have been easier if he had been a miserable human being that made my life difficult. He was NOT. He was my soulmate, my darling, my laughter, my smile, and my reason for waking up with hope in the morning.

I literally found myself walking “Through the Valley of the shadow of death,” as it says in Psalms in the Bible. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

It was during this time that I felt impressed to begin writing my book, “Thrive Don't Just Survive.” I wrote it selfishly to remind ME that life was still precious. I wrote to help me believe that I would sometime again feel joy, and to remember how I bore pain through the trials and struggles of the past.

As I wrote it occurred to me that my memories might also encourage others as they struggled with pain and sorrow. I hope that others will read and connect, and be lifted out of whatever valley they are crawling through, exhausted, and feeling alone.

Gratefully, writing this book HAS lifted me. It HAS given me hope. It has also reminded me that Nyle is NOT far away. I can't see him, and he does NOT kiss as well, but I feel his love with me always.

Thanks to all those who have touched my life and made it better. Thanks for being willing to comfort me. Your love humbles me, and makes me desire to help others.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Do YOU Show Love?

I was wrong!  You might ask, "About what?"  I have often stated that although my dear Papa showed his love in many, many ways, he struggled to express that love vocally.  In fact I counted and there were only four times that he said out loud to me, "I love you."  So where was my mistake?  My error was in thinking that saying "I love you," verbally was more important than the many, MANY ways that he showed me his unconditional love.

One of those four times of vocalization was a bittersweet moment.  He was dying, and I was riding a train from Portland to Utah to say my last good-byes.  He was dying from cancer that had basically eaten him alive.  Yet somehow he managed to say those precious words.

Yesterday I found a letter that my Papa wrote to me.  He and Mama were serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, in Lamar Missouri.  I was serving a mission for the church in Michigan and Minnesota.

Missionaries never serve alone.  This is a system of protection, and also an increased potential for witness power.  If we compare this idea to a court system, two witnesses are far better than one.  When teaching and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's important to have those two united witnesses. 

There are different terms used to explain the companionship of missionaries.  A brand new missionary will serve with a "Trainer," who quite literally helps the newbie adjust to mission life.  Then there are co-equals.  This term refers to the fact that neither of the missionaries will take the lead in their mission work.  They will share responsibilities, function as a team, and make decisions together.

Yesterday, I was feeling all around blue!  A "White Flag," day was fully engaged.  White flag as in, "I surrender!"  I have bronchitis again, with croup, and laryngitis.  This, of course, triggers my Fibromyalgia, which makes me hurt EVERYWHERE!

My dear Mama passed away in April.  She left behind a treasure trove of letters, pictures, and other delightful memorabilia.  I was sorting through some of these artifacts and came upon a letter written to me from my Papa.

Papa wrote this particular letter while we were serving our missions.  As I read the first page, my eyes filled with tears.  I quote, "Co-equal -- How can any lady missionary be an equal with my (our) daughter for looks, talents, personality, and all that other good stuff.  It's hard to believe, seems impossible.  I guess the word in this case means equal responsibility in plotting your course, and getting the work done.  We love you and know the Lord loves you so we are not concerned about your being equal to any job or opportunity that comes your way."

With a Father who loved me like that, how can I EVER give up, give in, or give way?  He believed in me, he loved me, and indeed although he spoke those words, "I love you," out loud only four times, he wrote them, and he showed them with his unconditional love.

After Papa passed one of my peers at work said to me, "I am so sorry to hear about your Father's death.  I understand that losing him must be really hard.  For what it is worth, I never knew my Father.  He was never a part of my life.  Remember to be very grateful that you had a Father that loved you."  That gratitude helped me to have the courage I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to see life as a precious gift.

I do NOT quote Papa's words to say to the world, "Look at me!  I'm just a little bit better than anyone else."  I share these words in case anyone reading is having a "White Flag Day," and needs this little reminder to count your blessings.  Seriously, stop whatever you are doing, and think aloud, or write down your blessings.  Even if they are as small as "I am  NOT sick.  I DO have a job in a time when many do not (even if the job is NOT what you wish to do for employment for the rest of your life, it's still a blessing to have an income.) 

How about simpler joys, like the beauty of the sunshine, the nourishment of the world in rain, or a good night's sleep.  How about having all of your 5 senses in working order, or people in your life that need you to love them.  Seriously, when we are feeling blue it's hard to think outside of yourself, and reach out in love to someone else.  Climbing out of your own funk and reaching out in love to someone else always blesses you more than it blesses them!

I WAS wrong...I did not see all of the ways that Papa expressed his love.  I did not understand that even MORE important than simply saying the words out loud was the multiplicity of methods that he used to love me unconditionally.  Thank you Papa. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Woman of La Mancha?

I don't remember exactly how old I was when I first watched the movie, "Man of La Mancha."  For those of you who haven't had this experience, it's a story within a story.  The first story is about a writer, actor, singer, dancer.  Unfortunately for him he writes things that a certain church disagreed with...quite actively.

He was arrested by the authority of the Inquisition.  Thrown amongst the lowest forms of humanity in jail, he performs for them.  His hope is that he will entertain the miscreants long enough to save his life until he is  burned at the stake by the Inquisition.

The play that he performs (here comes the 2nd part of the story), is about an elderly wealthy man named Don Quixote de la Mancha.  He has read and studied humanity all of his life.  He has managed to make a tidy fortune.  He "Lays down the melancholy burden of sanity...and becomes a Knight Errant."  He believes that it is his mission to make the world a much better place.  He travels with his dear friend (and former servant) Sancho Panza.

Along their journey Don Quixote teaches a poor servant girl/prostitute his principles about living a better life.  The song, "Impossible Dream," never fails to move me to tears of courage.  I'm a singer, but I can't perform this song because most people do not want to watch someone sob during their performance!

"To dream the impossible dream, to love pure and chaste from afar, to try when your arms are too weary, to reach the unreachable star...this is my quest to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far, to fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause, and I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest..."  That is a lot of words to quote but can you feel the power of them?  Good enough...is NEVER merely good enough.

Back to the poor writer in jail.  His wicked companions begin to taunt him and threaten him.  They say, "This story is dull, nobody would ever believe such foolishness.  The old man is insane."  In righteous anger the writer stands up and says, "...too much sanity may be madness.  Maddest of all is to see the world as it IS and not as it SHOULD BE!"

Our beloved oldest daughter is reaching for her dream.  This dream seems unreachable to our fiscal reality.  She wishes to return to Cambridge University to achieve her Ph.D.  She has been accepted to attend this year.  She has to raise the funds.

My husband had some of the worst health I have ever witnessed in a human on this planet.  When we married he had a colostomy, only one knee cap (and the other was already arthritic), his spine was collapsing in on itself, and one year later he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Did he quit living?  He certainly had enough reason to contemplate that idea.  He went back to college (while he had his own graphic design business at home, and also produced, directed, wrote, acted, and even danced on a very limited basis).  The pain from his back was so severe that after walking on campus for several hours his legs would refuse to hold him up.  So he would drag himself back to our car.  (We couldn't afford an electric wheelchair and he couldn't wheel himself, oh did I mention that his neck had started to develop serious problems?)

One day when he was almost graduated from college he said to me, "I think that I should go to Law School.  My body is failing but my mind is still really strong.  I could be an attorney from a wheelchair."

Talk about your Impossible Dream.  How could a man with all of his health problems possibly ever cope with the rigorous studies required at a Law School?  In addition, again, he found ways to earn money to help support our family.  He would not take pain medicine to help with the excruciating nerve pain that he now had.  He said that it dulled his mind.

He graduated as a Cornelius Honor Student.  A year after he graduated he was hired at his alma mater as Associate Dean of Career Services.  He adored that position.  One year after he had been hired by the school he had a a stroke, incurable eye cancer was discovered in one eye (that was threatening to go to his brain), and an incurable disease that was granulating the soft tissue of his throat, heart, and lungs.  He could not speak, and he was bed ridden for almost three years.

Again, he pulled himself back, reinvented himself, and found ways to earn money.  Nyle would just simply NEVER give up on life.  He fought diligently, and joyously until he died at the too young age of 54.

I do not tell this story about Nyle to make you feel sorry or pity for our family.  Indeed we are well aware of the many blessings that we have received.  Nyle was supposed to die so many times that we all joked that he was like a cat.  Only he had far more than a mere nine lives!  When he and I married we knew that he might not live a year.  We got to keep him for twenty-seven.  We have never lacked for family and friends in our times of greatest need.  We are ever so grateful for the gift that Nyle taught us of finding joy in even the hardest of times.  His motto was simple but living by it is not, "Happy Not Crappy."  That means that happiness is not a matter of sitting back and waiting for more pleasant circumstances to come our way.  Happiness is a constant, conscious choice.  We CAN be happy even when circumstances would indicate otherwise.

I have no doubt that Ardis will achieve her dream, even if it seems impossible in our circumstances.  She is the daughter of a father who showed by his loving example to never give up...never, NEVER give up!  He showed us, by his example,  how to keep dreaming the Impossible Dream.