Ten years ago this morning my wife Linda (our coo and cfo) and I took the elevator down to the main lobby of Children's Hospital here in Cincinnati. The day before on September 8, 1998 our son Anthony had a heart attack (age 12 - Wolf Parkinson's White Syndrome) while on the playground at Sycamore Jr. High School. His life, our lives and the life or our then little girl Alex, were changed forever.
Here we are 10 years later and this morning was like that morning. Bright and sunny and full of promise. I made calls to prospects and scheduled 3 appointments. Since that time we've seen our business take an expected plunge and surge back to the current status of what I would consider 'extra-ordinary. Anthony survived and so did we.
We could have not done this without love, faith and caring for each other and without the support of many. Some of which will read this post and so I thank you and our family thanks you as well.
Occasionally people pop into your life that are priceless.
Norm Barnhardt showed up the very first nite at about 10:00. He had heard what had happened and he drove straight from Columbus to the hospital.
Linda's sister - Jeni (our cmo) is one such person to whom we owe a great deal. For 90 days while Anthony was in the hospital Jeni was there. And when she wasn't there she was at home caring for Alex. Jeni continued to care for our son, our daughter and for Linda and I while we recovered.
A new office manager started the day after Anthony's heart attack. No one was there to greet her or provide her instruction. We called her, told her what happened and she was on her own. Without her for over a year I don't know that we would have made it.
Mike Ludy our neighbor told me: 'Tony, don't lose your business.'
Too many people to mention showed up, sent cards, flowers, food and love. Many of my friends, Whitey, Dave, Bob, Mike, Tim, Mark and so on and so on continued to come by and offer comfort and assistance. One of Linda's friends came by the hospital and said, 'treat me like furniture, use me when you need to'. When we were complaining about a doctor not showing up an hour later our friend showed up with doctor in tow. it's hard to believe that was 10 years ago.
Through all of this we have learned many lessons. Today I want to share two of them:
- No excuses - If a 12 year old can survive a heart attack, sustain a severe brain injury and still laugh and think life is wonderful then you can survive anything that a bad economy, a mis-guided manager or tough competition can throw at you.
- Keep selling - you have to keep going. This kept the sales engine going that allowed us to keep the business, keep our heads and provide for Anthony all the things he needs to sustain a near normal life. Keep selling keep going.
Thanks for letting me write this.