Ability to achieve

Richard - Miami, Florida
Entered on April 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, work
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I believe that everyone can accomplish anything in life if you have your mind set and a motivation.

I remember my father waking up earlier than all of us and barely having enough time to whisper into our ears that he loved us while we were still half asleep. I don’t know if he had breakfast on the table, or if he just grabbed something quick to eat on his way to work, all I know is that he was already gone by the time we woke up. Mom was the one to take me and my two older sisters in a rush to school. I can still picture her tender-sad face while she waited, staring anxiously at each of us until we were taken inside of the school building.

My old man began to work at the age of nine picking coffee beans, fruits and vegetables from my grandfather’s farm in Dominican Republic. Being the third of ten brothers and sisters, and with very low income, it was hard for him to think about preparing for his future, instead he spent most of his time helping out in the house and supporting his younger brothers and sisters. With little hope and knowing he would not be able to go to college, and the desire of not living the life his family was used to living, he decided work on his own.

Little by little and hard worked penny by penny, and with his ambitions throughout many years, he finally managed to open a small retail store. He laughs when he tells the story about how he was selling products and goods that people could easily get on their own without having to pay but, they would go anyway either for convenience or just because he was known by most of the people in town. Never the less, he was on the right path.

With time, his business grew at a decent pace, giving him the chance to invest his money on land. He invested what money he earned in buying hundreds of acres of land and began to grow produce for wholesale. At that same time he met a beautiful young lady with long hair of dark night, and glowing honey-like eyes. The young entrepreneur fell in love with her instantly and married the future mother of three just a few months later. He was ecstatically happy; seeing his dreams coming true right before his eyes, but never expected what was soon to come.

In August of 1979 fear and nervousness breaks loose. The announcement of one of the most intense storm’s of the 20th century’s path was unstoppable. Hurricane David’s 172 Mph winds howled for hours demolishing and taking with them everything in its path, including my father’s dreams and hard work. He had nothing left but fresh memories of what he had constructed for so many years. Frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion and impotence overcame him.

He taught himself never to give up, never to accept failure, and that achieving his dream was the greatest glory he could achieve in life. After the massive destruction, he and my mother moved to New York in a second attempt to fulfill his dreams, and start a family. Again he started working in retail stores or “bodegas”, as they’re called in the city that doesn’t sleep. Day and night, through New York’s freezing cold winters, exhausting overheated summers and frightening streets of the 80’s, he worked and saved enough to buy his own business. This time he had a different inspiration. Three to be exact and he whispered how much he loved them every morning before breezing out the door.

It’s been 51 years since my old man started working and it has definitely paid off; he now lives a carefree life, and having everything he has always wanted in life. He always says to me: “I have nobody to thank but my two arms and legs and of course my dedication and ambitions. I was too proud to ask for anyone’s help, I had to prove to myself that I was capable to do it on my own.”

My father is an inspiration to me and most people in my family, and anyone who learns about his venture in achieving his goals. I believe that if you put your mind and soul, and really want something in life, everything will work in your favor to help grant your wishes and desires. My old man believed all the time. I believe everyone can.