Our son Clint doesn’t often need any help.
He turned 26 last week. He’s a responsible young man, quite the gentlemen, and extremely confident. He can drive cross country without hardly taking a break, a feat he executed quite seamlessly for Rebecca and Taylor’s wedding. He’s been married to a beautiful young lady Daniella for two years. He’s a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps. And he’s a strapping 6’4″ tall.
So sometimes I forget he was once a little kid.
This past weekend at USU’s graduation reminded me of one of those times.
Clint and I were on a trip to Florida, along with my mom, to visit my brother Bob. We were staying with some good friends of Bob’s in Orlando, Norm and Armenay Merritt and their children, Carissa, Natalie, and Drew.
One afternoon while Mom and I were out with Bob, Clint stayed behind to play with Drew. The two young boys, Drew older by just three months, had fun exploring and playing together. Sometime during the day they decided to go swimming.
Problem was, Clint didn’t know how to swim. But was he going to let that stop him?
Not a chance!
Into the pool the two boys jumped, eager to enjoy the cool water on a hot Florida afternoon.
Clint’s confidence, as strong as it was even back then, unfortunately, didn’t translate into skill and he quickly sank to the bottom of the pool. But within seconds Drew, a natural swimmer having grown up around water, was in the pool pulling Clint out to safety.
When we returned we had no clue what happened as Clint and Drew were both playing like normal kids, full of life and excitement without a care in the world. Later that night we were even out water skiing. Such is the resilience of youth!
How do you adequately say thanks for saving the life of your child?
You would never forget, right?
Except I did forget. Not that I forgot what happened, nor lost gratitude for Drew’s action, but life simply went forward and we lost touch with the Merritt’s.
Fast forward 10+ years.
Through Bob, who has been blessed with a consistent friendship and family love with the Merritt’s, we learned Drew would be coming to Utah State University. His family was living in Connecticut where they moved not long after our visit to their home in Orlando.
Drew arrived at USU and set about studying Physics, along with a little bit of Japanese, and we set about welcoming Drew into our family.
Eventually, we started hosting regular Aggie Dinners nights where Drew and other friends attending USU would come over for dinner and sometimes a game night.
Over time Drew simply felt like family. And he still does.
I strive to always remember the priceless gift Drew gave our family. I hope, if only in a very small way, to honors a debt which can never be repaid.
Drew graduated Saturday from USU with a bachelor’s degree in Physics. It’s been an honor to spend time with Drew and his parents celebrating his accomplishment.
Clint will also graduate later on this month from Park University with a double bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Business Management.
Life for each will continue to move forward and upward thanks, in part, to a young boy who had the confidence to jump in and rescue another confident boy.
I pray they each will always have the confidence to keep on rescuing.
Soar you shall
Into the outer reaches
Of the Wild Blue Yonder.
Perhaps navigated by others
But now yours to claim.
Practically applying knowledge
Discovering capabilities unknown.
As you rise on created lift
Others too you shall help soar.
Who’s envisions the golden sky
In the nest his feathers remain.
— Les Patterson
Have a great Monday!
Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to remember one who has helped rescue, in any manner, someone you love. And then enjoy a USU Scotsman Bagpiper warming up before graduation.
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