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January 29, 2011 by David Gillaspie

Nieces On Their Wedding Days

These are the two women I met when they were babies, who I saw and heard about most of their lives.

First grandchildren keep the glow.

They are the kids I wished for my brother when I stood as best man at his wedding.

Since they are my older brother’s kids, they were on the scene before I got married and had my own.

These girls were so cute and fun I wanted to join the party.

Every chance I had I went to their events.  From youth softball to high school softball and basketball, I saw them compete.  At their high school graduation parties I saw how much they cared for their family.

But their athleticism was a treat to see.

They weren’t just good enough in sports, they were really good.  How good?

They both played softball through college.  Check your family tree for college athletes.  There’s not many in most cases.

So far, they are the only nieces or nephews to pull it off.

With advanced degrees and promising futures before them, these girls lead enviable lives.

One works in health care, the other in education, and it’s likely everyone they meet in the professional world comes away better for the exchange.

The difference between them and everyone else is their drive.  They are not afraid to compete in the classroom, the playing fields, or the workforce.

These women know risk and reward.  They know the difference between throwing no-hitters and perfect games.  They are unafraid to lose, of going down swinging, and unafraid of showing how much they like winning.

Winners are like that.  They know losing is part of the deal; liking to lose isn’t.  No one likes to lose, but with some you can’t tell by their effort.

Not here.

When you’re willing to break down opponents on a sports field, willing to see them wilt in the heat of competition, it drifts into other areas.

Do you get everything you want when you want it?  Probably not, but unlike some, my nieces don’t give up.  They don’t make excuses.  They know what level of return to expect for the effort they put out.  They have high standards and demand high results.

If they don’t get what they want the first time, they’ll be back.  These are the sort of characteristics more Americans need.

The lesson I got from them was go ahead and change plans.  Chart a new course.  With both eyes on the prize, you will win eventually.

That’s what winners do.

Any guy would be lucky to find partners like my nieces.  And they are sharp enough to choose the right ones.

Good luck girls, you’ll always be someone I can point to when others lag behind and need a kick in the butt.

For the rest of you out there, be the uncle or aunt who shows up when invited; it doesn’t last forever.

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