I’ll never forget seeing Uncle Tony in the hospital bed...

Doors of hospital rooms are so big and wide – they make you feel exposed just standing there. And that smell is always there... some mix of chemicals and medications that's supposed to smell “clean,” but doesn’t.

The smell and the feeling of exposure disappeared when I saw Tony. My favorite uncle, reduced to a shadow of the man he used to be.

Warm sunlight streamed through the window, but seeing him gave me chills. It was hard to believe this shrunken, frail man was my Uncle Tony.

Now even 18 years later, I can see the nurse holding a cup to Uncle Tony's lips, and he – the man who had soothed so many childhood hurts, who had made so many things possible – could barely sip water through a straw. He was down to only 85 pounds…You could see it hurt him just to keep his eyes open…

My heart broke, and I wanted so much to cry.

Cancer had my Uncle Tony. He was dying, and there’s one thing I just had to fix...

The Power of a Choice

You see, Uncle Tony was my granddad’s brother. My grandparents died when I was very young, so Uncle Tony and Aunt Tillie became our grandparents.

They were special people and favorite babysitters to my siblings and me.

Uncle Tony and Aunt Tillie didn’t have any grandkids or even kids of their own, and we easily filled that role. Every time they came over it was to spend time with us. They were genuinely interested in us, they encouraged us, and they supported all our childhood dreams.

Then one day, Uncle Tony signed some deal on behalf of the family and my Dad got mad. Furious actually.

Suddenly Uncle Tony and Aunt Tillie weren’t coming around anymore. They were no longer welcome. In my father’s eyes, Uncle Tony had betrayed a trust and forgiveness wasn’t an option.

I spent over half my life missing Uncle Tony because of my father’s choice... Imagine all the agony we kids experienced over whether visiting Uncle Tony and Aunt Tillie was another betrayal of our parents. I can’t even begin to add up what that one rash decision – that unconscious mindset – cost my parents, Uncle Tony, and the rest of the family.

It was like losing my grandparents all over again.

That was when I was about 12 or 13. More than 15 years later, I stood in that hospital room door, felt the chills running up my spine, and wanted to cry until my heart stopped.

As I edged up to the bed, Uncle Tony saw me and made a small noise. He couldn’t even wave the nurse away – he just turned his head toward me. The doctor had warned me that Uncle Tony was barely lucid, but he recognized me. And then his eyes filled with tears.

He could barely whisper, “Where’s your dad? Why didn’t your dad come with you?”

All those years of separation, and Uncle Tony just wanted his family back. Dad’s mindset had pulled us apart, and now Uncle Tony’s mind was set on making things right before it was too late.

You know, it’s amazing to think how powerful our minds are. And it's scary how little we understand how to control them. Uncle Tony’s whispered words galvanized me into taking action. I got my dad to the hospital two days before Uncle Tony passed away.

Once he was there, Dad wouldn’t leave. It was like a dam breaking, or a wall coming down…Even if it was right at the last minute, my Dad and Uncle Tony had found each other again.

My Dad was still so grateful for those last days, but the regret we felt leaving the hospital – all those lost years and needless sorrow – was overwhelming. I wish I could have helped my dad change his mindset sooner.

The desire to make a difference is still with me. When Uncle Tony was dying, I didn’t really have the experience or knowledge to help. All I could do was beg my dad to join me at the hospital and hope for the best. That’s what has led to my intense personal desire to find the right resources and the right people.

It has now turned into a personal drive to make sure working moms have the foundation for a prosperous, purposeful, and happy life. Because I don’t want anybody – moms, kids, husbands, anybody – to feel the grief my dad and I felt.

Why Do We Make the Choices We Do?

Even after Uncle Tony had passed away, you can imagine how hard it was to ask my dad about what had happened. As much as I wanted to understand the “why” and the “how,” bringing up that old family squabble was too much like picking at a scab.

But I still had that need to know, “Why do we make the choices we do?”

Unfortunately, my dad passed away while I was pursuing the answer. On the bright side, he was in a much better place in his head and heart because he and Uncle Tony had been able to reconcile. Seeing that big, positive change in my dad, and then losing him before we could really talk about and appreciate what happened with Uncle Tony...

That turned my need to know into a drive – a personal purpose.

This is a big part of what has made my whole life about finding answers, making things happen and connecting with people.

Even while running divisions at Forbes, Times Mirror, and Crain’s Business – big New York publishing companies – I never got caught up in the titles and power. Our focus was always on giving value to our subscribers. Connecting them with the resources they needed.

By the time I became CEO of Early to Rise (ETR), I’d had the great good fortune of working with a lot of the best minds in business, wealth building, and personal development. And being at ETR gave me loads of opportunities to enjoy the fruit of all that learning and answer seeking.

My favorite memories from ETR are of conferences. Not the speaking part - although, I enjoyed that, too. The time after the speeches were over… The moments in the hallway, talking one-on-one with my customers. And, there's no better feeling than when someone comes up to you and says, “You made a difference in my life.”

When the Student Is Ready...

This wouldn’t be much of a story if it ended with me feeling all warm and fuzzy, would it? After all, the “happily ever after” part only starts coming into play when you pass on your good fortune to others.

I’d seen the joy and relief my dad felt after making up with Uncle Tony. And every conference showed me the impact my knowledge and advice had on other people’s lives.

I decided it was time to find a way to teach this mindset – this turn around approach, this way of thinking and doing – to others. And especially to other working moms. Because we really have a big responsibility in this world.

In addition to our jobs and the businesses we run, we have our children to look after. The decisions we make – the example of how we live – it all combines to define who our children become, and then who their children become. It’s our opportunity to write history – to be the guide for generations.

That vision for our future is what led to the founding of Working Moms Only.

Author's Bio: 

MaryEllen Tribby is the Founder and CEO of WorkingMomsOnly.com and MaryEllenTribby.com. Her mission is to supply the tools that can give EVERY working mom the ability to lead a healthy, wealthy, and more balanced/blended lifestyle. She is a highly sought-after business consultant, speaker, and author. Her first book - which she co-authored with Michael Masterson, is Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions For Your Business (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470538805/). Her second book, Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business into a Reality (http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Entrepreneur-Turning-Business-Reality/...) hit #1 on Amazon in the Marketing Category and #9 in the Entrepreneurship Category only hours after its release. Join her on the magnificent journey to lead the life you have always dreamed of, the life you and your family deserve. Sign up for a FREE subscription athttp://workingmomsonly.com.