“Let’s just say my Mari was always a confident girl. She was good at a lot of things—writing, soccer, art, playing the trumpet, cooking, getting A’s in school. All of it. I say that not because she’s my baby, but because it’s true.
But she was never one to speak up—not like her attitudinal, straight-talk-no-chaser, take charge mother. Mari would play the rear—sit back and get a lay of the land and quietly do her due diligence and, finally, speak when she felt like speaking. It used to drive me nuts. I wanted her to lead like we expect leaders to lead—like a bulldozer that digs up the answers and knocks down what it needs to in order to get the job done.”