Tragedies Suck. Don’t get me wrong. And sometimes things don’t “happen for a reason.”
We all have our “shit,” as I like to tell myself, but I’m to the point in my life where I’m obviously very okay with talking about mine, and writing about my perspective and how events in my life have culminated to make me stronger.
So before I dive into this piece, as it’s super personal for me, I want to preface it by saying that the real superheroes in my life have been those who have always been there for me: my dad, my mom Mary Jo (I don’t say stepmom), my wife and kids, brother and sister, grandparents, aunts and uncles, in-laws, cousins and friends – and even co-workers and teammates.
So first of all, thank you to all of you – more than you can ever know.
Now, my origin story (humor me on the comparisons and embellishments related to Superheroes).
If you examine the origin story of many fictional Superheroes, you’ll see that typically some kind of tragic event started it all. Bruce Wayne’s (Batman) parents being robbed and murdered in an alley.
Peter Parker (Spiderman) getting bit by a spider. Bruce Banner (The Hulk) getting caught in a blast of gamma radiation. The list goes on and on.
On May 14, 1986 (this exact day, 32 years ago), my mom, Meryl Betty Hickey (shown below with me in Oak Park, MI and Lake Orion, MI) passed away. I was four and a half years old. She was 31.
Thankfully, I have an amazing father, who went on to remarry an amazing woman who has been my mom since June 1990.
Much like the writers of comic book Superheroes have conditioned fans of these characters to become ultra-proud of the origin stories, I’ve always been proud of mine, pretty much since the day it happened. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s DNA. Anyone who has ever met my dad knows how positive of a guy he is. My aunts and uncles are always laughing and enjoying life. Positivity is definitely in the family tree – on all sides.
So this day has never really been something I’ve publicly talked about or written about, but it’s a positive day for me.
However tragic, May 14 for me is a reminder of good memories. It floods me with perspective on how good life truly is.
It reminds me of how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life, at the top – my wife and kids.
Whatever your origin story, tragic or not, be proud of it, and use it to take with you the best perspective you can throughout your life.