Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don't Quit

Only three weeks ago, I received news my brother in law, Robert had passed. I continue to grieve for him as does my family.   This morning, more sad news.   My aunt Rosie died.  She was my dad's baby sister.  I have to be honest, distance and time had drifted Rosie and I apart in more recent years.  This morning I have reflected on the many memories of her from my childhood and  adult life.  Rosie was only 5 or 6 years older than me, so growing up she was more of a big sister than an aunt. The last time I saw her was at Robert's wake and funeral...never could I have imagined that was the last time I would ever see her.  At a time like this, we can all chose to focus on the good or the bad.  I have to chose the good.  I will cherish all the good memories of Rosie, because there are so many more of those. 

My favorite memory of her is from many years ago.  When I was 21 years old, months after I had moved to Houston, TX I was extremely homesick.  I missed my family...all of them, my immediate and extended family.  Starting a career in a new city was definitely one of the biggest challenges of my life but one that proved to give me my biggest reward.  Months after I moved, I spoke with my aunt Rosie on the phone and although I did not tell her how I was really feeling (trying to be strong), she knew.  A few days later I received a card in the mail (I still have it).  The card had the poem, Don't Quit.  Inside she wrote me a note that let me know she really knew how I was feeling.  This encouragement and her belief in me meant so much to me.  Whenever I have felt down or discouraged, I read this poem. This has been her gift to me...all these years, I remember and will never forget her.  

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
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.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
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 it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown

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