He had been bitter. He had stayed away from wrestling – no participating, coaching or even following what was going on in the sport. After all, he had spent six years doing far more than he was asked. And then his dreams of county and state glory ended when he was injured and didn’t make the podium at the Suffolk County tournament for William Floyd High School.
“I remember putting everything I had into it – total dedication, total discipline,” Passaro said. “If it was an hour and a half practice, I stayed for two and a half. If we were supposed to a run a mile, I ran three. My goals were to win leagues, win counties and win states. I damaged some ribs in the league tournament as a senior and didn’t even place at Counties. I lost to a kid who I teched earlier in the year. I couldn’t believe it. I asked myself what the heck I did everything for. I hated wrestling for a while; I probably avoided it for 17 years or so. I wanted no part of it. I felt like it wasn’t worth it – I did everything I should do and felt like I got nothing out of it. Of course, I was wrong.”
While he slowly changed his mind and got back into the sport with sons Maverick and Travis, it was when his daughter Jess was suddenly rushed to the hospital with a brain injury in 2009 that he realized wrestling gave him the tools he needed to face a foe more powerful than ever before.
“I never realized what wrestling meant to me until I had adversity,” Passaro said. “It just kicks in and you go into wrestling mode. You block everything out, you figure out what the obstacles are and figure out how you will overcome each one. There are setbacks and you work harder. You work as hard as you think is possible and then you have to work harder again. It’s about constantly moving forward and not listening to the noise around you. The biggest thing about wrestling is that you always reach a point when you’re on the mat with someone better than you. You have to find a way to win anyway. Life is the same way. There are things bigger than you; my family was faced with an opponent much bigger than us. You still have to come up with a plan to win. You realize you have the ability to take yourself to levels you never thought possible.”
In his book, Passaro brings it all to life, telling the tale of what can happen when a family believes and sacrifices, even in the face of unlikely odds. It details the battle Jess and the Passaro family had (and have) in dealing with significant illness and talks about the trials and triumphs of sons Maverick and Travis, both All-State grapplers in New York.
We don’t want to give away too much because the book is worth reading. It pulls no punches and will move, touch and inspire. You’ll feel the power of the story.
In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.
After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.
Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.
Amy L. Sullivan believes no one loves harder and more completely than children. She also believes selfies, cell phones, must-have tech gadgets, and the sparkly allure of possessions lull kids into an insatiable desire for more.
When More is Not Enough celebrates the idea of more: more prayers cried out, more time spent together, more use of our talents, more interest in strangers, more forgiveness of hurt, more of what Jesus taught us each day of His life. This book focuses on helping children grow generous hearts, tender spirits, and a deep compassion for others.
Filled with biblical reasoning, real-life anecdotes, practical resources, and start-this-very-second activities, When More is Not Enough is for families who are ready to move from seeing generosity as a series of tasks and instead, turn it into a way life.