Thursday, January 30, 2014

History Repeats Itself in My Family

Today is our oldest son's 23rd birthday.  He is holding down two jobs while attending community college.  His first boss is reimbursing him for all classes at a "B" or above.  And his second boss just invited him to go through bartender training.  Although his workload is crazy, he made the dean's list.  He is hoping the essay he submitted will win him admission into a summer program in Ireland.  He is living proof that you can overcome the odds if you put your head down and do the work.  It's in his blood.  That's what Mulligans are made of.

I remember the last conversation I had with my dad before he shut the doors at Mulligans for the last time.  He told me I was on my own.  He was leaving.  For me, it was a come to Jesus moment.  You can read the rest of the story in my memoir, God's Black Sheep Squadron.  I spent the next couple of decades trying to figure my life out.  When I got married and started having children, I vowed I would do things differently.  We set up college funds for our children as soon as they were born.  When the business I founded with a partner group needed additional capital, I cashed out all my investments to make sure our employees got their pay checks.  The economy went south and our customers were going out of business in record numbers.  The last capital call was the most painful because it meant draining all the college funds.   It was in that moment that I could feel my father's pain the day he told me I was on my own.  I did everything in my power to keep history from repeating itself and I was powerless.

Our oldest son has dreams of opening his own bar.  He and his siblings are discovering what they are made of.  He is paying the price to live his dreams.  And his parents couldn't be happier.  Happy 23rd birthday, Ryan.

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