Patrick's triumph-faves book montage

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box
Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves
Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization
Who Moved My Cheese?
The One Minute Manager
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey
The Greatest Salesman In The World
The Richest Man in Babylon
The Screwtape Letters
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
The Great and Terrible Fury & Light
How to Master the Art of Selling
Man's Search for Meaning
Outliers: The Story of Success
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary
The Present : The Secret to Enjoying Your Work And Life, Now!
Think and Grow Rich

Patrick Laing's favorite books »

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Epitome of Triumph: My Hero

You know, there a lot of different kinds of Triumph in the world. Successes in business, kids doing well in school, disabilities being overcome and challenges being challenged. We see examples every day: inspiring stories / people / programs and marriages that--despite the odds--keep surviving and even beating the odds. The list goes on and we've touched on many of these in The Triumph Times. We all have experienced, observed and likely participated in our own share.

What I've learned in my own life, especially this past few years, is that few Triumphs are cut-and-dried, black and white, simple or "cookie-cutter clean." Most are steeped in trial and pain, frustration and disappointment, struggles, set-backs and a large dose of growing and learning. That has certainly been the case for me. This past year has been one of the toughest and also one of the best in my 43 years. It's been a year of highest-highs and lowest-lows. It's been a period of heart-ache, heart-burn and many different happinesses blended into one. It's been a year of Triumph--a year of growth and reflection, adjustment and adaptation. In many respects, it's been a year of "reconnection" and, at the very least, a year I'll not soon be forgetting.

Speaking of reunions, I wanted to announce (if you haven't heard already) that I got remarried on March 17th of this year (2012)--Saint Patrick's Day! To make a long story short, my best friend from a decade ago, my former fiancé that "didn't work out" the first time around, came back into the picture and she and I reconnected late last fall and over the holidays (2012). We reignited the spark that first saw light many years ago. We "re-began" a journey we both have missed, even in silence, for a long time now.

Her name is Tessha, formerly Tessha THOMAS, and she'll tell you that ten years ago she thought we were just "postponing" our engagement--"putting it on hold," as it were, while she finished her last semester of college. I thought we were breaking up (I'm a little bit slow sometimes....). It was a pretty big breakdown in communication, to say the least. But, as a result, I went on to marry Emily, my former wife and the mother of my children, and stayed married for 9 years. I became a dad to five great kids, for which I'll always be grateful. When Emily and I divorced, Tessha and I reconnected. And now? We're married ... and we even got married on St. Patrick's Day (imagine that). :0) I guess what I'm saying is, the Lord works in mysterious ways. I never imagined us back together again--but here we are and we're very happy to be here. We're grateful to have finally "figured it out," even a little later than we originally planned.

As the old saying goes, "Better Late Than Never." It's very true in our case. All I know is, from the moment she came back into my life, it's felt like old times all over again, like we never went our separate ways. We've picked up where we left off; at least, it's certainly felt that way. And now, we're working out the kinks and curls that make up a new marriage, we're working on parenthood and step-parenthood, fatherhood and "bonus-mom-hood" to five teens and preteens ... and dealing with the complexities of making it all work. It's been an adventure thus far and it's just getting started. What can I say, it's a story of Triumph ... and Tessha is my Hero.

She is triumphing over 10 years of loneliness, confusion, and in many ways, regret. She's forgiving and forgetting and moving forward, in faith. She's getting to know my children and doing an amazing job serving them, figuring them out and trying to love them each in their own way for who they each are. She's Triumphing over the challenge of it all, and the complexities inherent therein. She triumphs, in my mind, every time she seeks to serve, work well with and get to know my ex wife. Their dynamics and relationship, like any blended family, are a work in progress and can be challenging at times. But, I'm impressed with both of them and especially Tessh and how she / they are learning to work together, compromise and communicate well.

Tessha's really great. She is the most loving, most selfless, kind and patient person I've known--and not just with me and the kids, but with everyone she meets. Every time I turn around, it seems, she's serving someone, thinking of them, helping others to Triumph over what they're going through. Whether it's a friend of ours with heart problems or another who just lost her husband; whether it's her dad and his health or her mom and her burdens ... or total strangers who just need a friend, a guide, a comforting word or a morsel of bread ... Tessha just serves them and reminds me of what true Triumph means--"Triumphing" over selfishness, pettiness--basically, anything that gets in the way of true, unconditional service. She's a great example to me, not only of Triumph, but also of Truth. She's as authentic, as genuine and as honest, as they get.

Okay ... so, I'm probably sounding too sappy, too personal, so I'll stop. I just wanted you to meet her. The eldest of 10 children ... my best friend ... a great "bonus mom" to my kids: she is the primary reason these last 12 months have had their share of "ups" along with the "downs." I really think she saved me this past year, in many respects. I just wanted her to know how much it's meant and how much she and all of it continues to mean.

Tessha ... I love you. I appreciate you very much. This tribute is for you, baby. I can't imagine going through the next ten years, not to mention the forty after them, without you by my side. I look forward to TRIUMPHING over whatever life throws at us, and doing so together. Thanks for believing in me.

Here's to you, Tessherina.

Here's to Triumph.



  1. I believe in everything that Patrick said about you. I am so glad we are friends and am so glad that you are so happy together. Miss hanging out with you and feeling your wonderful Spirit. Great Blog!

  2. Beautiful Patrick! What an amazing tribute to Tessha. She deserves every word of it but it's especially nice to hear it from you. How kind. No wonder she loves you so much.

  3. Tessha, that is all true of you! Patrick know you well!