Never give up

Published 8:14 pm Friday, December 27, 2013

In an interview with The Guardian in 2012, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, had some wise advice, taken from a long career in the public eye: “Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.”

Ninety-two-year-old Marie Hill has never held the leadership position of a national organization like Jackson’s, and she has lived a relatively quiet life raising nine children and three grandchildren in a home in Suffolk’s Hobson community.

But it’s safe to say that Hill understands Jackson’s advice. After ending her schooling following the seventh grade, there was always something missing for Hill. She filled that void by finally earning her GED certificate this year, decades after suspending her education.

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Even in the face of the significant health challenges one might expect to come along with attaining the age of 92, she never gave up. Heart disease, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease — severely impairing her vision — and chronic atrial fibrillation — an irregular heartbeat that limits blood flow — were all among the obstacles she had to overcome in pursuit of her goal.

“I was determined I was going to finish my education,” Hill said this week.

Such determination is an admirable trait and one that she worked to pass along to the children and grandchildren she raised. She has set a fine example for them and for others who might be tempted to quit when things get complicated or life becomes overwhelming.

Never give up. Not even at 92 years of age.