January 25, 2012

For Derrick

Yesterday passed like a day off does...quickly and with the feeling that I didnt quite accomplish everything I wanted. Somewhere between getting kids off to school and cleaning/purging the kids toys I sat down to check my in box and found an email from my husband containing an email a friend had sent him. It said; "I sent this to PSU today"...followed by

Derrick is an extraordinary young man - both as a student/employee and as a future leader in the business community in Portland. 

Over the last five years, I have worked alongside Derrick as he has developed himself into the high-potential high achiever that we see today. With a modest background and a challenging high school resume, Derrick has created a future for himself and his family that has no limits. Despite logistical and family responsibilities and commitments that would overwhelm many of us, Derrick has relentlessly driven over and around and through obstacles that appeared insurmountable. Without finance, spare time, study role models or direction, Derrick has crafted a future that will stand him and his family - and indeed everyone with whom he comes in contact - in good stead. I have watched with admiration as Derrick has developed fundamental skills and a foundational base of knowledge from which he could build an academic resume of which he should be proud. He has driven himself to, month by month, and semester by semester, do more and achieve at ever higher levels - while at the same time parenting two active children and providing love and companionship to his best friend and wife. 

Scholarships are given for many reasons - including academic merit, need, above and beyond effort, and/or potential contribution. On every one of these counts, Derrick is the most worthy of recipients. With not a word of exaggeration, I say definitively, that I have never met or watched over a period of five years, as a man has dragged himself up by his bootstraps and made such a quantum leap from "where I was” to "where I can be!" And all this has happened with remarkable grace and kindness. His interest in his fellow man, his willingness to help others, and his determination to live every day with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step despite potentially crushing challenges across the spectrum of his life, fills me with wonder. Who he is, what he has achieved and the potential he has, makes an extraordinarily compelling story. I recommend Derrick unreservedly for the scholarship. I am utterly confident that every cent invested in this young man and his future will be reaped many times over by our community.

It made me cry. It is the truth and I am so proud to have a husband whom someone would speak of like this without reservation. More important to Derrick is that the person who wrote this feels proud of him. This person has encouraged Derrick and I to keep going and we have a lot of respect for him for his educational and professional accomplishments, and more importantly because he values his wife and children so highly.  
He has been a mentor, father figure, and friend to Derrick and I am grateful for his unwavering encouragement.

I have been feeling really...not discouraged, but just down...just ready to not live in this little space and really I am just ready to quit working and be home with the kids (if we are being truly honest). So it was really nice to read an endorsement like this. I believe in us and what we are doing, but I am not always sure that anybody else does...its nice to know we have cheerleaders who believe in us and believe, as we do, that what we are doing is hard, sacrifice, character building, HARD (I think I can say that twice), and that it is worthwhile.



Jenni @ RainyDayGardener said...

What a beautiful letter, describing with elegance, Derricks character, determined spirit and work ethic. He is an inspiration to all of us.
You should hold onto the reality that you have many cheerleaders :)

Kelly said...

WOW! That is truly amazing and almost made me cry too. What your doing is hard...really hard and every single day I marvel at how you and Derrick are making it work. You will look back on this with humble hearts at what you came through and the wonderful examples and experiences you are giving your beautiful, bright, fantastic children. xoxo