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Finding You Champion
Let me guess. I am presuming you want to know how I become such a talented and accomplished person in life. I have found my champion. The people who have devoted their time and brought me to where I am now.
I was born in Ossining, New York. I am of Italian descent. I was fortunate enough to come from an affluent family where things first started out smooth and favorable for me. My father, Henry Chance, is a congressman. He is a pious Catholic who would never once dream of missing his week to weekly congregations. My mother, Cheryl Chance, died in 1992 after a 10-year battle with emphysema.
I grew up in the Chace Woods section of suburban New York and attended a catholic kindergarten, later graduated with a degree from a prestigious university. I am an ambitious, diligent and faithful individual. I am also a perfectionist. I would do everything so well that no one could find fault.
However, when you aim for perfection you will soon discover it is a moving target, which can almost be like an empty hope. Being a perfectionist may not necessarily be a very good thing. I began to focus on preventing failures and shortcomings instead of promoting future successes in my life. I was emotionally weak occasionally.
Ever since the tender age of 5, I have always envisioned myself to be a competent lawyer at my own private law firm. I was never so sure of myself and my decisions like this one. Sometimes it comes across like a fantasy but at times it seems like an achievable goal for me. Fantasy because it seemed so surreal for me, especially at that very young age. It was bizarre. However, it was also a goal for me because the people around me were all so successful, leading the most promising lives one would like to imagine.
I always worked hard in my life, never ever letting any negativity bring me down at all. The earlier part of my life was so lustrous and things constantly came together for me. I was consistently that “lucky” kid, facing little rejections and flaws. The people around me were kind to me. There were no aggressive behaviours. They were all so lovely. It was a whole bed of appealing fresh red roses for me.
My childhood shines and leaves me eternally warm.
It was cold and raining lightly, the tenth anniversary of my late mother. As I age every year, I see more of her in me. My mother was diagnosed with lung infections when I was in college and she was sick for about ten over years. I had to grow up pretty quickly. When I see someone I adore go through this loathsome illness, I had to make a quick choice. Whether to run away from this or to be here and deal with it meticulously. And I like to be with her every step of the way as I am definitely going to remember this for the rest of my life. I do not want to have any regrets.
During her agonizing battle, I went to the doctors with her, lived with her, and gave her shots. I was resigned to my fate. Neither was my father. It was hard to come to my realization that my mother has actually left us for good. It was a feat. I cannot hold out, I cannot hold back now like I have done before. It was too big.
I was appreciative that I was small enough at that tender age to understand that it was the right move to make.
Now, there is not much that could scare me after having lived through that stage of my life. It was like a roller coaster ride. Unthinkable.
I still feel her existence and that she is still with me and I have opened up in so many ways through that struggle and it was certainly horrible when you lose somebody. But you do find positive things in there somewhere and you do grow. You look at your life differently. You don’t waste your precious time on frivolous things. You find the tinge of optimism in something so futile.
There is a story behind all things. How a scar got on your face. How did you land up in where you are currently. More often than not, the stories are so understandable but sometimes also so explicit and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is forever your mother’s story because hers is where yours start.
This is my mother’s last years on Earth. Also the most veracious one.
My life first began all well and suddenly having to face my mother’s death was not straightforward at all. As a child living in a dark world, I feared my life most as I thought I had to walk the rest of my life alone, with the exception of father. As an adult now, I know that I was not alone. Many people had it worse than me.
I looked up to him and say with a smile on my face that this pain is temporary. My father whispered to my ears saying that “someday we’ll find a place here in this world.” Everything was seemingly dysfunctional. Everything began to fall apart. Everything was feckless. We, especially me, had a blurred vision; we did not know where to go. It was as if losing half of you.
My mother was as tough as a tree. She would bend but never give in to anything that hinders her. She actually knew what was more important in life and never once brood over trivial and silly things like a puerile child. She continuously taught me life lessons from the depth of her experience. Her spirits shone, even brighter year after year. She is ostensibly my greatest influence. I distinctly remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life, undeniable.
Where else do you go to find a greater act of hospitality? It has a humanising effect. Everything must first start at home; this is my role to making the world more peaceful.
This is part of what a family is all about, not just affection. But to let others know that someone is always guiding and watching upon you. That was what I missed so much after my mother’s death. What I interpret as ‘spiritual security’, having to not feel the emptiness in my life. Wealth can never buy this. Neither can fame. This is the nature of our planet, Earth. I ask myself, when I grow old, about to die inevitably, and had no family, no friends, would I be able to manage the emptiness. There is a lot to discover in life, a lot more to explore. It is never sufficient.
I remember the many times that I did not stand up for my mother.
I still vividly remember the year when I had to make a really tough decision of whether to pursue shooting or political science. It was rough. On the other hand, my father was against my mother’s judgement. He strongly believed in me grabbing hold of a degree in shooting. My father was a national shooter before he became a republican congressman. He has always insisted that I follow his footsteps closely and do not lose my directions in life and walk the wrong path. I totally understood. But yet.-
My mother was an academically inclined person. She never believed in sports. She was a pragmatic person. “Sports will be short-lived”, she badgers me. She tried to influence me into believing her words more than my father did. It was the pivot point of my life. This decision I have to make is life changing. Only a chance was given, not two.
On my side, it was even more distressing for me. I was in a dilemma. I was too young to predict which would be better though I’ve always seen myself to be an accomplished lawyer when I grow up. It was my ambition then. I had too little exposure; I didn’t know which of those would be better for me. Is not this life? It is full of bewilderment, nothing can be so sure. One minute, you think you are there, and the next, you lose it.
The next morning, I woke up and I saw the beautiful blue clouds set before my eyes like a cotton candy. It was like an art. That aside, I was still indecisive. My father’s path for me was seemingly so compelling that I just did not want to just drop it off though it is not the road that most people would take. Yet my mother’s path for me was more like what majority of the mothers here would want for their children. It was common.
I know it was hard on my mother’s side. She did not want to see all her money that she saved up for my education to be flushed down the toilet bowl. Wasted. It was just unbecoming to see me take sports as my core career.
Also, I know it is even harder for my father to see me not follow his path. It was not as if he was not successful in life. In fact, he is. I did not want to disappoint him too.
That was what made it so burdensome for me.
After months of scrutiny, I followed my gut feel. I disappointed my mother. I took my father’s choice.
That was one of the few times I did not believe my mother’s words.
I could feel the tears in her eyes, I felt helpless too. It was either this or that.
My father later trained me to be a national shooter. I was in the national league; I trained hard and won many medals. I wanted to tell her indirectly that actually father’s decision was not that bad. I was immature.
About a decade after my triumph, I started to lose my momentum. I was involved in an automobile accident but fortunately I managed to survive it. But I could not shoot properly anymore. I was not that phenomenal anymore, my skills totally slackened. And it was also around that time that I lost my beloved mother as she lost her 10 years’ battle of emphysema. It was totally distasteful. Even I couldn’t believe myself if I would have that little faith and dignity to surpass all these negativities.
Her clock radio was playing country music. Her room was so neat. Everything looked so new and fresh. But her body was sprawled onto the white concrete floor as she was about to reach for her blue spectacles on the little table next to her bed. She was taking her last breaths and I was not there with her at that very moment, but shooting.
When I saw her, her heart had halted. The room was filled with people whom she was affectionately fond of. The room was physically cold and emotionally solemn. Mother always told me to never cry for her because someday I will see her. I put my curved palm lightly and quietly on her heart, it was quiet. There was not any more rhythm and totally motionless. That was just a stop on the way to where I was going. I am not at all intimidated by that; I believe the art of living is not to agonise over something that is out of my reach. I was true to myself that I did not want to languish like a prisoner for the remaining part of my life. I know I have got to do something to forget my bereavement every time it comes to harass me. And I did eventually.
Everything happened all in a day.
I lost everything. First, my mother and then, my stability and ability.
I was full of guilt.
There was not time for me to speak or express myself. It was just so unbelievable.
A stunning impact virtually.
My life was like a fairytale, all these were larger than life. All the milestones that I have passed through were as though illusions.
A flash of blinding light, then nothing.