"What do you do when you fall down? You get right back up."
My mother was getting married, and I was pissed.
They scheduled the wedding on a Sunday, the same day as my St. Vincent Ferrer Hornets Baseball game.
Every night when my mom would tuck me into bed, I would tell her why she shouldn't marry "Tim," my soon to be Step Dad.
One night I remember telling her the #1 reason she shouldn't marry Tim.
"Mom, he falls all of the time! You can't marry someone who falls on the ground!"
My mom replayed, "What does he do when he falls? He gets back up. That's why I'm marrying him."
I thought that was a terrible reason, as a wise nine-year-old boy.
A few weeks later, I went to the YMCA with Tim for the first time.
As we were leaving the Y and walking to his car, his cane got caught in the pavement crack, and he fell.
I looked around awkwardly, knowing it wasn't normal for a 45-year-old man to fall.
I asked Tim if he needed any help, even though I knew deep down there was nothing I could do.
He looked up at me on the ground, smiled, and said, "do you know what you do when you fall? you get right back up".
I remember him vividly saying that to me that day and many other days going forward for the next twenty years.
The falls happened more frequently the older he got, but the message was always the same. When you fall, you always get right back up.