Lydia’s Story – Lydia’s Legacy – You are strong enough | NAWBO

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Lydia’s Story – Lydia’s Legacy – You are strong enough

Lydia’s Story – Lydia’s Legacy – You are strong enough

“Mom, did you see the quote? - ‘You are given this life because you are strong enough to live it’” - Ain Eineziz

“I did honey”, I responded, “I love it because it’s true. I am so glad that we know this deep in our souls and that you encourage others with this truth.”

My bright blue eyed, brunette hair, bubbly chatter box baby girl - I adore her.  She is my daughter, a beautiful gift from God to nurture, love and pour into with the dream of watching her continue to grow into an amazing woman.  On July 24th 2020, that dream took on a much different direction than I could have ever imagined.

Beautiful, passionate, and vivacious – Lydia Ann Cress is a daughter, sister, friend and was an aspiring woman business owner who, at the age of 23, left this world and entered a perfect world with her heavenly Father.  The why we do not know, but what we do know is her beautiful story is a testament of the courage and tenacity needed to live life well in the midst of whatever life unfolds.

I am her mother and I will tell her story.

Lydia’s name was given to me in a dream.  She was named after Lydia in the Bible, who was known as a woman that sought after a deeper knowing of God and a gifted businesswoman known for her success, hospitality, and generosity.  Her middle name was Ann, but really should have been Adventurous, as fear was never part of her vocabulary.   Lydia loved experiencing all life could offer her and loved to share that experience with anyone who would dare to brave it with her.

From a young age, Lydia was known as a loving, compassionate, and “tell it like it is” kind of girl. She was transparent.  She had a generous and trusting spirit that, as she grew into her teenage and young adult years, would bring her much joy and heartache.  Sometimes her generosity and kindness were taken advantage of, yet she never grew hard or bitter.

When life handed her disappointments and pain she didn’t accuse or blame.  Lydia owned her part, got back up - stronger and more resilient than before, refusing to victimize herself. She knew how to forgive, let go, and keep moving forward.

The past is stubborn, it ain’t gonna change” was her favorite quote.

So live your life in the present and take advantage of every opportunity you are given,” -  was the motto she lived by.

Being an entrepreneur was a big part of who God created Lydia to be. As a little girl, she would make things to sell, and learn how to generate a profit. In high school, she formed businesses making and selling precooked meals to teachers. She recognized a niche for appetizers and bite-sized treats, so she started 2Bite Delight and catered many events with her unique and delicious creations. She was determined and strong-willed in pursuing her passion, going to one of the top culinary schools in the nation at barely the age of 18. On her own at the age of 21, she was fiercely independent and working hard to better herself. She had a bright future ahead in all she set her mind to do. Most recently, while living in California and attending esthetician school, she was planning to either own her own spa or a food truck. If anyone could find a way to incorporate them together, it would have been her.

Lydia truly lived with her whole heart and creatively used her talents to benefit others.   She delighted in others becoming their best, most beautiful selves.  If someone needed a voice, she would make sure they were heard. She was known as “the friend” you could count on and trust to have your back. She lived her life in authenticity, nonapologetic and with a tenacity to work hard on her own character, while embracing and owning her beautiful and generous spirit.   She would hold a light to guide others thru their own darkness or stand with someone who needed a champion to fight alongside them in their struggle.

Pain’s purpose is to create a powerful passion. Lydia was a young woman entrepreneur who walked bravely though the pain and struggle of addiction originating from traumatic events beyond her control. She did so with the purpose of loving and accepting herself and her journey. We all experience challenges, obstacles, and painful circumstances beyond our control. No singular event needs to define our story. Lydia was a wonderfully multidimensional young woman – so much more than one affected by addiction.  She daringly allowed love to transform her pain and the road of recovery became her powerful passion. Offering empathy, hope, and help became consistent values she carried through every dimension of her life. I believe, the strongest most courageous are those who embrace their struggle, do the work to be the most beautiful version of themselves, and then extend support to others, just like Lydia.

As young women business owners, you will experience challenges both personally and in business that seem insurmountable. You will see victories that will astound you and defeats that will stop you dead in your tracks.  There will be times of sheer terror, of not knowing what to do where you will feel like giving up… but remember Lydia’s legacy: “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” - A message Lydia lived by and encouraged others to do the same.

Your NAWBO sisters have much wisdom and experience to share and are here to walk along this path with you. My hope is that thru Lydia’s story, you will be inspired to be the best, most beautiful version of yourself.  YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH!

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Ranee Cress Wright is a wife, mother and President/Owner of Drillmax in Houston Texas. She is a NAWBO Circle member and WBO of the year for 2020 top 3 finalist.  She recently founded a private foundation, Lydia’s Legacy, after the unexpected death of her 23-year-old daughter, Lydia.  Her mission is to support other young entrepreneurs to become their best and most beautiful selves and carry on Lydia’s legacy that YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH.

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