There’s something about Mary

September 29, 2008

by Mary Nash

Everyone has their hero in that someone in their life who has inspired them and moved them to become the person they want to be. For me, that person is my dad.

As long as I can remember, I have been daddy’s little girl. Even at 21, I cannot imagine going a day without calling to tell him a funny story or play around with an inside joke when things get a little bit more than I can handle in the Tech Talk office.

More than once we have sat down and watched Harold and Kumar or a Cheech and Chong movie. While some may find it hard to talk with their parents, I can tell my dad anything. I have a best friend in a parent.

My dad has always done so much for me and my sister without expecting any ‘thank you’ at all.

For example, my sister and I went to a private Christian school through our elementary years. Now, on a mechanic’s salary, people probably wondered how in the world we were able to afford to walk through those doors.

The truth was that my dad would privately sell his things (four-wheelers, guns, etc.) and work extra jobs in order to pay our tuition expenses each year. He would never complain and it wasn’t until years later that I realized what had happened, but just recently I have begun to understand what he and my mom both sacrificed to do what was best for their children.

My dad also demonstrates a sense of drive unparalleled by anyone I have ever met.

Before I was born, he raced motocross, winning trophy after trophy doing something he truly loved. In one race, the bike flipped and his back was broken. Against the odds, he was able to recover but to this day endures excruciating pain just to get through the day. No matter how hard it is just make it through the day, he still is always doing something for others — never turning down a chance to help someone else.

In this day and time, many people my age have no idea what it is like to do any type of real work, like what is a part of his average day, not even myself. I tend to complain about my class load and the stress of being down in the dungeon of Keeny Hall for hours on end. Then I step back for a minute, looking at the opportunity my parents made possible-and am so grateful for my life.

I have learned a great deal from him. I learned what to expect from life. I learned what I deserve from myself and others. I even learned what qualifies as great music (he is the reason I got into the greats such as Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and AC/DC).
Most importantly, I learned what a parent who constantly encourages and inspires a child can do for your life.

I am graduating this fall. As scary as that is, I know I am able to do anything and my dad will be standing right beside me, cheering me on and encouraging me to try my best in whatever I pursue.

Mary Nash is a senior journalism major from El Dorado, Ark., who serves as associate editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to man016@latech.edu.