Saw a great blog from Wall Street Journal guest writer Suzi Wilczynski, founder of Dig-It! Games. She reminded me of how important my mother was to my career.
My mom found herself divorced and with no college education at a time when she still had four of her six kids at home. I was the youngest at 10 years old.
It was not an easy situation for any of us. With practically no child support coming in to help with household expenses, Mom had to get a job. Stat. She rented us a tiny house, and about 500 yards across a field behind our back yard was a burger joint, where she went to work every day. Hundreds of times I watched her trudge across that field to work, then back home after flipping and serving burgers all day.
I believe that image, still so deeply embedded in my mind, was the most powerful education I ever got. Mom was doing what she had to do. No whining, no complaining, no putting her hand out for any form of government aid. Simply grinding it out every day to feed four kids and keep a roof over their heads.
That burger joint gig led to a better job with a day care center. She eventually wound up managing the place. Although she never got rich, she made and saved enough money to buy a house of her own. Not grand by any stretch of the imagination, but a comfortable, cozy home, bought with the sweat and determination of a petite gray-haired lady with the heart of a lion. Best education I ever had.
- Eric Whittington