Yesterday and Tomorrow

By LIZ MARCHI

I feel a tug today.  I left my Mom early this morning in Alabama.  She is still beautiful at 82 but she is tired.  She lost her last sibling last week.  She needed to take care of estate issues as the only surviving relative. I came “home” to stay with Daddy who needs someone with him most of the time.  He has a great attitude but physically is almost helpless.  Mother is devoted to him in so many ways.

They married young, educated themselves, raised four daughters that have by and large, made them very happy.  They built a business that enabled a more than comfortable life for themselves and us over the years. They have experienced college graduations for 12 grandchildren to date. They have 6 great grandchildren.  They bicker at each other but it is with a sense of profound partnership and love.

Yesterday and Tomorrow 2

Love my techieparents.

We enjoy talking about innovation and looking back at Dad’s remarkable career of innovation and entrepreneurship.  I copied a letter for my girls from NASA acknowledging my Dad’s important contribution to the Saturn Rocket Program.  He built the first antenna that enabled a television signal from space.  He knows how awesome I think that is.

I have had my struggles with Daddy over the years.  He is a big football fan, very competitive and always believed that you always play to win and if you aren’t the lead dog the scenery never changes.  Hard to win when you can’t be on the team. He has tempered as he has watched his granddaughters become superb athletes and blessedly, all have been good students.  (He forgets I was a GREAT student but Mom doesn’t).  We have argued about women being members of Augusta National.  This trip we argued about Condeleesa Rice, who heaven forbid, has NEVER coached a football team, being chosen to be on the new selection committee for the new College Football Playoff Series.  And pretty girls are still a great source of pride, especially my gracious and lovely southern mother.  (I was /am “bossy” but now know that’s OK outside of the deep south).

Yesterday and Tomorrow 3

According to Daddy, if you’re not the lead dog, the scenery neverchanges.

I went by and visited with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than 40 years who is waiting for her mother to pass away.  You realize when you grow up in small towns; those people are your world.  And then, if you are lucky, your world gets bigger as you grow in knowledge, courage and ambition.  The yesterday’s are like a big magnet pulling you back to a time when everything was simpler and you weren’t responsible. But all those life lessons well learned from loving and well-meaning parents stay with you forever.

But it’s today and I am going to the home of my making: Montana, our ranch, Jon, our children and grandchildren.  I am going back to the work I have made for myself with entrepreneurs and other businesses.

Yesterday and Tomorrow by Liz Marchi

My wall ofmemories.

I know Mom and Daddy have better todays and tomorrows knowing that we are strong and responsible and that we all feel enormously loved and cared for.

Liz Marchi

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Liz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go into overtime.