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Friday, May 18, 2012

To Unselfishly Give of Yourself

 by Mary E. Gilder*

As many of you know, I love the game of football and on the afternoon of Thursday April 26, 2012, I had an opportunity to tune in to the 2012 NFL Draft.  Prior to each first round player’s name being announced, previously recorded footage was shown of players in their hotel rooms with extended family.

I was inspired by what I observed between several future NFL Stars and their families. It was a moment reflective of so many moments.  Yet, at the same time, very unreflective because within that moment life had come full circle for a chosen few.

Dad’s standing with such pride, as they extended powerful words.  I also watched with intensity as mom’s carefully inspected the suit to be worn for that special day, making sure that every detail was intact from the tie, shirt, cufflinks, socks, shoes, etc.

I was moved to go much deeper as I reflected on the actual journey of those families. I could never truly grasp the full extent of want brought them to that moment. However, I’m certain that the preparation began many years prior. Perhaps, with a small child stating, “I want to play football” or a parent stating, “I’m registering my son for the Pee Wee League.”And within that moment, unbeknownst to most, the journey began with: Tiny Tot, the Peewee League, Pop Warner, the High School Football Team, College Football and the final destination for the chosen few; The NFL Draft.

As I continued to reflect on their individual Journeys, I began to think about the sacrifices that were made by the parents and believe me when I say, it was an enormous one. I can recall when my brother Russell participated in sports. Russell began as a tiny tot and he retired his baseball bat after high school. I can still recall how my mom would rush home from work, prepare dinner and drop him off at practice. I can also remember mom adjusting her schedule week, after week, after week to attend Russell’s baseball games.  My mom was exhausted but she was there.

When my youngest Shana decided to play baseball as a fifth grader, I found myself in a state of semi unconsciousness with just trying to balance a professional career, my many responsibilities within the home and all that was required of me by Shana’s baseball team. I was beyond tired but I like so many parents, was committed to my child.

As I continued to be inspired by the NFL Draft, I was challenged to think about the selfless sacrifices of those parents who stood on the frontline. And if asked, most would do it all again because that’s what parents do for their “cubs”.

During the months of May and June, we as a Nation set aside time to honor our Fathers and Mothers.  As you prepare for this beautiful season of celebration, I want you to reflect on your journey and as you are in the mist of reflection, focus on the countless sacrifices that were made by your parents or by those in a parental role.

There is simply no better opportunity than during this special season to set aside time to extend love and appreciation for the sacrifices made. Sacrifices made so that as you journeyed towards your goals/dreams/passions, the tools needed to propel you towards your destiny would be within your reach.
To all of the Father’s and Mother’s who have stood on that frontline and to the millions that continue to stand faithfully, know that we LOVE you, APPRECIATE you and HONOR you. And as this season of celebration comes to an end, make a commitment to recognize and celebrate your parents on some profound level each and every day of your life.

Love, Peace and Joy,                                                                                                                                                                                                Mary

*   Mary E. Gilder is the author of the award winning novel, “A Misrepresentation of Myself.” Mary can be contacted at or Also visit her website at: 

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