I read the epilogue first. Gail Miller talks about her life with Larry, their falling in love, their struggles as a young family. What I wish I could ask her, if we could ever spend an hour together, is “Was he too driven? If you could have changed him (which we all know you couldn’t) would you rather he had spent more time with the family and less time being so driven – or would that have made him someone else?” This is the question that haunts me in my own life.
I, too, am driven. I am nowhere near as successful as Larry H. Miller, not financially or in any other way, but I am driven. As soon as I finish a book, I start plotting the next one. As soon as I get off the air in the morning, I start thinking about the next day’s show, or that afternoon’s speech, or some other project. When I’m lying in bed sleepless, I’m trying to think of a topic I could write a bestseller on, or maybe some form of passive income that would help my family. My brain never shuts off.
This drive, which feels quite normal to me if not pain-free, is a burden to my family. I know it is. My husband misses me, sometimes even when I’m in the room. He misses my focus – on him and on the children. My children may miss me too, but they have only ever known this me, so I’m not sure they can miss what they’ve never had. I am pondering lately how much of my drive toward providing for the family, toward writing and broadcasting and producing, may be driving me away from my family. Or is this just who I am – and they love me exactly as I am, maybe even because of who I am?
This is my question. I wonder if it was ever Larry’s. I wonder if Gail ever asked this question about her driven husband, her magnificent, powerful, yet humble driven husband. Maybe there are some answers in Larry’s words. I’m back to the book now. The Foreward, by John Stockton.