Me and my mom, January 2000

*I dedicate this post to the memory of my mother, Shirley, who taught me a lot in a short time.  Two lessons stand out: Be the best you can possibly be. And don’t give up on something that you really want; find a way to make it happen.

I had another post planned  until, as it has before, my e-mail from TED interrupted my thoughts. If you don’t know what TED is, you need to educate yourself. It’s the portal for online inspiration in the form of speeches by amazing people.

I ended up watching a video about Charity Tilleman-Dick, a young opera singer who was diagnosed with a rare disease that affected her lungs and heart. Charity came as close to death as one can get without tumbling over the edge.

As young adults we do not often think about our mortality. We assume that death is for old people, or that it is something very far away, and distant.  And some of us learn very early, that life is so fragile. One of the most remarkable things about Charity’s story is that before she fought for her own life, Charity lost her grandfather, and tragically, seven weeks later, her father, died in a car accident.

I was stunned. I can only imagine how much pain she was in physically and mentally. But she kept going. She did not give up.

She did not give up.

Watching this girl, who moved around the stage with such a nervous energy, reminded me to remember that giving up is never an option. That we must all fight until the very end to live the life we want.

Charity underwent a lung transplant to save her life, and in the process, she almost lost her voice. She didn’t know if she would ever be able to sing again. Her passion, the thing that made her feel most alive, she almost lost it.

I needed to  hear that story today. I needed to remember that I can’t give up.

I hope that I was able to remind you too.

Happy Friday.

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