By Craig “Coach” Harper
My focus this week is solely upon a group of champions who, on a daily basis, define the word champions. To qualify to be a champion in my opinion the candidate must demonstrate courage. A little boy going to bat in a Little League game where the pitcher is older and much bigger must summon courage. A teenage girl who stands up to other kids bullying another girl is courageous.
On a larger scale a man going into lunar orbit then descending to walk on the moon demonstrates incredible courage. A lady who donates a kidney so a stranger may live is an incredible example of courage.
I have a friend whose son was killed because of a drunk driver. The driver was imprisoned. My friend, after a few months passed, visited the driver almost every day in prison. On every visit she told him she forgave him. It would not surprise me if she told him she loved him. That is the wonder of that woman.
Another young man I met with a long life ahead of him had just been married to the woman he dreamed of asking to be his wife for years. She was killed by a drunk driver. Life for him was over. He moved from a western state back to the east coast where he had some family. Every day he would just go to the beach where he would sit and stare at the ocean. He ate just enough to stay alive. At times he would lay face down in the sand crying. This went on for months. One day a lady walking on the beach who saw him lying face down went to him and asked if he needed help. He told her he needed no help. Each day that she walked on the beach she tried to help him. One day he told her his story. She told him that if he was ever going to move out of his present state of mind he needed to forgive the man who had killed his wife. He pondered that advice for days. One day he flew back to the prison where his wifes killer was being held. He went to the mans cell and with all the courage he could draw from himself he sincerely hugged the man and so sincerely told the man he forgave him. Sometimes there has to be an ending before there can be a beginning.
Now that the stage appears set Id like to move to some conversations I heard recently. These were phone conversations that I will paraphrase slightly. The person on the one end was a US soldier in Afghanistan.
A stateside woman says, Honey I think about you every day and every night! Hannah asks me about you so many times. She wants to be part of the next call. Will that be ok? Her husband responds, Melissa, in the midst of all the danger here I find my mind wondering to you and Hannah every time there is a lull in the action. I have seen so much pain and suffering here. Every night I pray and pray that you and Hannah are safe. I love you, I love you and I cant wait to talk to Hannah. Im already excited about your next call. Please tell Hannah daddy loves her and that I cant wait to talk to her. Honey, always remember how much I love you! I cant get there to be with you guys this Christmas, but next Christmas will be ours. I love you!
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.
By Craig “Coach” Harper