Inspire…such a powerful word but one that is rarely used or thought about.  As we go through life, there’s those people who inspire us to do better, be better.  It may be a parent, co-worker, friend, political or religious figure or even a hollywood star.  We all have our unique reasons why/how we get inspired.  But once you feel this deep, soul changing feeling of inspiration, you can never forget it.  I experienced this over this past week and I’m truly grateful for this gift.

As a Mom of two beautiful, intelligent and wonderful daughters, I’ve always strived to do my best and show them how to live life in such a way that they would be proud of. Always thinking that I need to be an inspiration to them.  I may be but let me tell you…over this past week, my baby, Marissa (18 years old) inspired me, and many others, in such a way that is profound and unforgettable!

Seventeen and a half years ago, Marissa (before she could even talk) was humming the tunes to the musical Annie.  I knew then that she would be a performer of some sort.  Marissa has taken years of vocal training, performed in many, many musicals and plays and competed in various competitions.  Her ultimate goal and dream was to earn the lead role in her school’s musical.  Year after year, she was past up for the lead until this year!  Her Senior year, the grand finale.  In February she was thrilled to accept the lead role as Emma in Jekyll and Hyde.  Marissa attended rehearsals after school every day, sometimes staying at school until 10pm.  She committed herself 100% to this role and dedicated to do her best for everyone in the cast.  She worked her ass off!  I don’t know how she did it, day in and day out and keeping her grades up.

Marissa was scheduled to perform in the lead role Thursday and Saturday night, with another girl performing Wednesday and Friday.  Wednesday, opening night, was awesome!  Marissa performed her smaller role perfectly.  Thursday came and I was a wreck – I was so nervous for Marissa.  I just wanted her to do her best and be proud of her performance (because I’d be proud no matter what).  She freaking Killed it!  Marissa owned that stage!  Afterwards, she informed me that she became sick during the day and was running a fever.  But after discussing it with her directors, she performed anyway.  And I’m sure the audience was glad she did!  (Side note – she didn’t want to tell me she was sick because she knew I’d freak-out even more, lol!  She knows me very well!)

Friday morning, Marissa was still sick with a fever.  She made the adult decision to stay home and miss the Friday performance.  Yes, she was bummed but really wanted to heal herself for closing night in the lead role.

On Saturday Marissa was still running a fever of 102.2 and really feeling crappy.  But she was determined to perform for herself and the other cast members that counted on her.   As the curtains opened, I held my breath; hoping she’d just make it through ok.  Marissa’s performance was flawless…perfection!  I cried like a baby!!!!  As the curtains closed, I felt this tremendous feeling of inspiration that Marissa gave me.  She not only pushed herself to perform being really sick but she didn’t let her illness stand in her way of doing what she loves, finishing what she started and making her dream become reality.  She didn’t let anything stand in her way…..what an incredible inspiration!

{Thank you Marissa for inspiring me.   Love, Mom}

Do you have a dream or goal you’d like to achieve?  What’s preventing you from fulfilling it?  Don’t let anything stand in your way! No excuses!!!!

“Sing like it’s your closing night” – Leticia Martino




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