Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! – Anne Frank.
Today would be Anne Frank’s 83rd birthday. It would be my father’s 79th. I’m thinking about them both a lot today.
My father introduced me to Anne Frank somewhere close to my 13th birthday, Anne’s age when she began her diary. Like so many girls, I felt like she was writing specifically for me (I also love Carole King when I’m having heartbreak and want to be Holly Golightly – the movie one not the book one. I know I’m a cliché). Despite her tragic story, Frank was a role model in optimism, forgiveness, and fortitude. When I was struggling with my mother, I’d read her struggles with her own mom. When I wondered about boys, I remembered her words (“Boys will be boys, which would be fine except that girls keep being girls” – something like that). Anne aspired to be a great writer and no matter what horrors unfolded in front of her, she never stopped believing in the potential of the future. She made me believe in my own potential.
As did my dad. He was a sportswriter with no sons. I asked him once if it bothered him and he said – every man should be lucky enough to have daughters. With sons, you want them to follow in your footsteps, to be better men than you were. With daughters, you can just love them completely and revel in all their accomplishments.
I did follow in my dad’s footsteps a bit and he didn’t always just sit back and let us be. He believed in working hard and moving forward. And like Anne Frank, he believed everyone had the power to live their dream no matter what stood in their way.
So dad and Anne – I’m raising a glass to you tonight (and I hope somewhere you’re raising one together – I think you’d like each other).
Thank you both for your belief – in me and in the future. I hope I make you proud!