...which nobody can deny!
So Cody and I will be headed south to Cinci in a couple of hours, but I wanted to write this before we leave. See, part of the reason we're headed down there is to celebrate the sale of Pete's store, and his big move and new start.
The idea of a surprise celebration dinner was thrown into the ring, and being the lover of food that I am, how could I resist. The Ladies Linn have suggested that during this dinner, we all talk about how awesome Pete is and give little mini-speeches extolling his virtues and talking about how proud of him we are. A wonderful idea, in my book!
Since I'm horrible about remembering all the things I want to say when I get put on the spot, I wanted to get it all saved here just in case. Not to mention, it gives all of YOU the opportunity to tell Pete how awesometastic he is as well!!!
In the few short years I have known him, Pete has grown by leaps and bounds. He has had so many struggles and issues to deal with, and yet come out swinging and on top every time! Upon first meeting, most would assume that Pete is shy and reserved. Little do they know, he is one of the most tenacious people I know.
After college, he was stuck in a terrible work environment, but he was working in his field of study, and let's face it -- the economy and job market haven't been great to our generation thus far! Upon hearing that a carry-out store in his hometown was up for sale, Pete decided he deserved more and pushed, pulled, prodded and pried his way into a new life as a store owner and businessman.
He could give you a laundry list of all the drama, hiccups and bills he went through during this period of life, but if you ask anyone close to him, they would poo-poo that right away. Not that he hasn't suffered more than his fair share of hard knocks, but he certainly did more good than bed in those years.
Despite going it alone and not having much financial backing, Pete was able to keep his business afloat for several years before deciding it was time to move on. He outlasted a lot more trials than I think most of us would. I know that I, for certain would have thrown in the towel a long, long time ago! Not Pete, though! He kept the business going, worked another job outside of there to keep the lights on, dealt with surly customers and immature employees for years because it was his dream, and he wanted it to thrive.
Even when the economy got worse, and pretty much crippled his business, he kept his heart in it and busted himself up physically and mentally on a daily basis to keep the doors open. He continued to remodel, rehab, and refurbish an outdated and challenging building. Yet he kept his focus on the customer and the goal the entire time.
He never forgot his dream, nor did he give up on it. He kept pushing until he could push no more, and then pushed some more. To the detriment of his health, Pete would get very little sleep and still manage to work two jobs.
Unfortunately, all the extra hours and stress eventually started to take a physiological toll on Pete at the same time. Though he never walked away, those nearest and dearest to him started to voice their concern, and eventually got through to Pete that something had to give, and it couldn't be him!
After a lot of heartbreaking consideration and soul-searching, Pete realize his time in that store was done. He had followed his passion to the end of it's road, and even though the destination looked different than he had thought it would when he set out on his journey, he was still a success. He had lived his dream; now it is time to move on to other dreams.
In the midst of all of this, Pete experienced a lot of other outside drama as well. Some directly affected him, and some only affected him indirectly. All of it wore Pete down to the point of throwing his hands in the air and giving up, but he Never. Did.
So while I've only touched the tip of the iceberg of your awesomeness, Pete, I want to let you know how very proud of you I am. You've been kicking ass and slaying dragons since I've known you, and I know you've got farther to go. I'm excited to see you at the start of yet another dream being fulfilled!!!