Most of you will already be well aware that about 2 and a half years ago my wife Polly succumbed to ovarian cancer after a hard fought 3 and a half year battle with it. From a personal perspective, it was the darkest 3 and a half years of my life and frankly, nothing prepared me for the final stages, it’s just plain ugly.cutcake 250×173 Its Wedding Bells for Mal Emery and his New Bride
On the other hand, I have of course survived, in most part because of the love and support offered by a handful of individuals, I sense the need to publicly name them here.
First and foremost, my marketing maniac daughter, Denva and her then girlfriend Anita. They were there for me every bit of the way, adding a very small bit of normality to a totally abnormal life. Will admit to consuming far too much grenache shiraz together, on their porch.
Heck, they fed me, watered me, gave me an ear to talk to and a shoulder to cry on and I didn’t do the dishes once, not asked or expected to. My daughter, for the last 31 years has been my greatest blessing and achievement.
I have to admit, she was an each way bet in her early teens. It was either going to be highly constructive or highly destructive, luckily for me, it turned out to be constructive.
There are a few others that should not go unmentioned, namely Ian Marsh. My friend and General Manager today, who in his wisdom, having seen me on my knees, transported himself, his wife Jenny and daughter Brooke from NSW to the other side of the continent, Western Australia, to run my business.
Jenny even dragged a horse float with 2 horses in it across the Nullarbor. What a girl! All to save a sinking ship. Basically, with Ian leading the way, my business as it was then, has been totally reinvented, more importantly, I’ve been reinvigorated.
If you benefited by my teachings or still benefit from them, you should thank Ian Marsh because I doubt very much that I would be doing this today if it wasn’t for him.
I’ll bundle the rest up, Matt and Amanda Clarkson, Andrew and Daryl Grant and the rebel himself Pete Godfrey, stood up for me in more ways than one. Can’t leave out my mate David Glendinning, whose own wife succumbed to the same disease at 41 a few years earlier. Dave was there for me many times as I fought to understand the disease, learning from his experience.
In fact, I raised and donated about $130,000 to Ovarian Cancer Research to help with early detection all in the name of David’s wife, Madeline Glendinning.
The irony of all this, is while I was raising money and donating to Ovarian Cancer Research, my wife had the disease. You go figure.
Finally, I can’t leave out my very best friends John and Cheryl Denton. They supported Polly and I through thick and thin and remain my dearest friends today.
These lifelong friends showed their character when it was needed most, lucky Mal.
You know, there is someone else who I can’t leave off this exclusive list. That person is Lou Mladineo, a devoted, loyal, tolerate and personal assistant back then and still to this day. Lou saw my daily struggle more than anybody did, she was there when my heart was beating out of my chest and when the tears were streaming down my face.
You could ever be as lucky as me to have be equivalent of my Lou. If you have had the privilege of talking to her on the phone or meeting her personally, you would agree with me wholeheartedly.
I have to acknowledge the part that my clients made in my survival and recovery also. They represented a form of sanity in the insane world I was living in, mostly when I drove out of the driveway everyday to go to work, I could separate the two worlds.
So to did, taking my clients money for fee for service which held my feet to the fire, and got me out of bed in the morning when I didn’t want to.
So thank you to you all for that.
There is something else that got me through and it’s an inner truth that has never let me down that may very well be instructive to you.
The truth is, and I have proved it over and over and over again in my life, that is behind ALL adversity is a greater and better opportunity. Gotta tell you, at the time it didn’t feel that way.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t wish what happened to Polly and I on anyone but from my experience, every cloud does have a silver lining.
Looking back, that 3 and a half years felt like a lifetime. When Polly passed, I had to rediscover normality, I had forgotten what it was like.
I’ll never forget the description a psych gave me to describe my plight. About 6 months into all of this, I sought professional help, not just for me, but so I could be more help to Polly. He described it this way and it’s very apt.
“You are on a horse, it’s a wild horse. It has no saddle or reins, it’s out of control, you can’t stop it or get off it and you are hanging on for grim effing death”.
And he added on the second visit “by the way, I can’t help you and there is nothing wrong with you. This will all end one day and you will start a new life”.
His words have rung in my ears for years and their truth has now come to pass. You see my friends, and you must be my friends because I would hardly bare my soul in this way to total strangers, on the 17th day of January 2012, I am taking myself a new bride, her name is Ying and she is Chinese.
The truth is, I like being married and what a lucky man I am!
The fire has returned in many more ways than one. Where I had dropped my bundle on the house or the life had been drained from it, we are now planning and renovating together as we begin our new life.
Imagine that, being able to plan, that was one of the things I missed most in the darkest days of those 3 and a half years. You see, you couldn’t plan a thing, not even a cappuccino.
The thought of better things to come kept me going, as did the fact that I knew it. So my message to you is this…
I believe behind ALL adversity there is a greater and better opportunity.
I’m not asking you to rejoice in your problems or your liabilities, they are no fun, don’t let anybody tell you differently. I am however, asking you to TRUST ME on this one. You see, like all of you, I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
Your problems and your liabilities are opportunities.
I’ve seen it with hundreds of my clients, from screwing it up for years, moments away from bankruptcy, blaming everyone and everything but themselves to first generation millionaires and multi millionaires today.
Without exception, none of them would be where they are today if it weren’t for the problems they first endured or the action they took when the solution appeared.
Of course, in a business sense, no need to wait until things get this dire, instead, choose to be one of those very rare individuals who are constantly reinventing themselves and their business when seemingly there is no need.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family and I wish you a relaxing and restful break… I suspect it is well earned.
Looking forward to working with you in 2012 and helping you create more success.