Possibly one of the most sorrowful event I have experienced is the death of my mother. I also happened to lose my brother shortly afterwards, which made for an annus horribilis.
My mom was an incredible woman. Trained as a lawyer, she had a prodigious memory, a voracious appetite for reading (usually a book a day), and a belief in the potential of her children.
She had unwavering integrity, and being her baby boy, I basked in the glow of her aura and loved her dearly for a thousand+ reasons.
Shortly after she died, I received a letter in the mail. It was from Mom.
As I often objected to her criticism on the phone, she had taken to writing me letters instead. Her handwriting was not her usual balanced script, as she had recently suffered a series of mini-strokes. These strokes had deprived her of her usual command of the English language and the letter was bereft of her exceptional articulation. Nonetheless, the tone, message, and intent were unmistakeable. For posterity, here is a faithful copy:
I have just come from meeting with Michael Musk (Elon’s Uncle). Michael tells me that Elon has successfully launched a rocket into outer space with his SpaceX project and then landed it on a platform in the Pacific Ocean.
How is your career coming along?
This was the last communication between us and left me realizing that there was still much to be done to honour all the effort and time my mom had put into raising me. Clearly, I was an under-achiever in her eyes, and the only way I could redeem myself was to make the second half of my career consequential.
I give credit for my drive to succeed, thinking big, and wanting to make a consequential difference to my mom. I aim to imbue Ronin8 with some of these values and create an organization which accomplishes sufficiently on a large-enough scale to relieve me of the weight I still carry inside (thanks, Mom!).