The phone rang at 6am.
“Your dad has passed away”. I hear the voice of my mother, slightly confused and afraid yet strangely calm.
I will never forget picking up that phone call. Or the image of my father’s pale face sitting still on the sofa.
We were two weeks away from our first child, his first grandchild, and my father left us unexpectedly.
WOBB was going through fundraising at that time. The business was growing, but we were still burning money, and so we needed money to survive.
I remember joking to my team how crazy the timing of our fundraising coincided with my first child. I was expecting an overwhelming time. But nothing like this.
And as I looked at my father, I forgot about me. Forgot about my struggles. I saw only him, at the end of his.
I thought about how I never told him I love him. Or said sorry for all the times I said things that hurt him. I never got to say goodbye.
A few weeks on, I welcomed our daughter Danielle, pushed through a successful fundraise, almost as though nothing sad had happened. I never had time to grieve. Never had time to stop and take a breath to see all the weight I was carrying on my shoulders.
I just pushed on. Pick yourself up. It’s not about you, it’s never about you. No excuses, I said.
“The world doesn’t care about your feelings.”
“Your daughter needs her father. Your wife needs her husband. Your brother needs his brother. Your mother needs her son. Your team needs their CEO. They all need you to be at your 110%.”
And so we carry on. We don’t complain it’s hard. We don’t blame other people for why things are challenging.
So what if it’s tough. Many people have it worse. We just try to focus on what I can do move life forward, one step at a time. We are all climbing our own mountains.
And I hope you find the strength to take one small step everyday to climb yours.