Ted Yang had his life all planned out—and it was a good plan. The son of Chinese immigrants, he graduated from MIT at 21 with a Master’s, worked successfully at the world’s largest hedge fund, married the love of his life, moved to the suburbs and started a family.
Then, like most of us, Yang learned that life almost never goes exactly how you planned. He and his wife Christine soon found themselves parents to triplets born at 24 weeks, together weighing less than half of your average full-term 7.5-pound baby. Within a week, they had lost one child, a son, Raymond, and found themselves in the fight of their lives to help their surviving son and daughter, Daniel and Sofia—a fight that, in their daughter’s case, would take years. Wall Street success didn’t seem quite as vital anymore.
Yang candidly discussed these topics as well as changing life expectations, how important good health insurance is and more in a wide-ranging interview about his recently published memoir, Table for Five, A Father’s Story of Life, Love and Loss, with BYU radio’s Julie Rose, the award winning host of the show “Top of Mind.”
“I had to go through a huge process re-figuring out what it meant to be a father and a provider for my children,” admitted Yang in the interview.
When Rose asked what his biggest lesson learned was, Yang took a moment to consider before answering: “Pick where you spend your time because time is a precious commodity.”
“You take what you’re given,” continued Yang, “and I’m so thankful my kids are alive and happy.”
Calling Yang’s memoir “striking,” Rose had Yang read aloud the book’s prologue, a passage she called “really beautiful” where Yang sets up his story—or rather how and why he chooses to tell his story.
“I choose to reveal my story because it defines me and inspires how I approach life and business,” read Yang in the interview. "...There is something in the telling, the sharing, that brings understanding, even if it's only to know that we are not alone."