It was after my freshman year in college at Maine Maritime Academy when I went on a Navy summer deployment to fulfill my NROTC commitment and scholarship. This deployment was a two week excursion on a 42' sailboat that a Lieutenant (LT) and six Cadets sailed from Newport, Rhode Island to Castine, Maine. I had sailed before with my family and had taken sailing for a Physical Education class in my first semester. I knew how to sail, but I had never experienced anything like what I did off the coast of Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.
When my son was younger, he would follow my feedback to the "T"...most of the time. As my son has grown older, he has begun to make his own decisions. I found it really interesting as we bouldered at the Pinnacles, just north of Big Bear Lake, CA, he began to really determine his own paths, even when I would tell him, "I think this way is easier," or "This way is faster." He had begun to find his own way.
There was once a junior supply officer in the USMC who was on a field operation in the humid and hot North Carolina spring air. It was a stormy night and as the officer woke from a few hours of sleep, he knew that the supplies that he was supposed to get out didn't make it due to the inclement weather. He had tried his best but had come up short. Now he had to face his commanding officer and the logistics officer to communicate that the job didn't get done.
This week has really been a challenging one for me as a leader of people at work, of my kids and my wife at home, of fellow youth leaders at church, of my extended family and my close friends. After a long season of battling many different illnesses, a long-time close friend, mentor and advisor died: my father-in-law. He was the most determined and optimistic person I have ever known and I am going to miss him immensely.