Bobby’s World : Heroes



I present to you Bobby’s World, monthly musings from the one and only Hubby!  


A few weeks ago, a fellow teacher and I were talking about our upcoming field trip to Washington DC and inevitably got on the topic of Arlington cemetery, which led to further conversation on the D-Day invasion during WWII.

We were talking about what it must have been like to have been a soldier on that stormy morning of June 6th 1944. Perhaps you had volunteered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or maybe you had been drafted later as a replacement, as the death tolls rose higher and higher. Regardless of how you got there, you were crammed into a boat with other young men who were all asked by their country, future and present, to answer the highest call of citizenship; to defend their country and their freedom.

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The other teacher and I thought out loud, “What must have been going through their minds?” As the low rumble of the Higgins’ landing-craft motors churned through the high waters, I can imagine their hearts and minds trying to cope, sort and make sense of the barrage of emotions that were being thrown against them. Memories of home and loved ones far away, dreams of the lives they’d live if they returned home, silent prayers uttered to God above; all the while fear of death lingering in their thoughts and being stifled as deep down as possible. I’m sure many of them accepted what seemed to be the inevitable, and stared into the dark waters thinking of nothing at all.

And that fear of the “inevitable” was well warranted. The first wave at Omaha beach would endure a staggering 50% casualty rate, according to more conservative historians. Imagine for a moment, your life determined by the probability of flipping a coin.

It was in these young hands that our future hung in the balance. Many in their early twenties, and a few probably eighteen years old. What weight, what responsibility pressed upon that American youth who were asked to sacrifice their world for ours. Known as the “greatest generation,” it was not as much that they earned that title as it was simply who they were all along and displayed true greatness under such incredible pressure.

(One of my favorite post-rock songs written on behalf of the Greatest Generation. Instrumental.)

These men were heroes. They fulfilled Hemingway’s definition of courage as being “grace under pressure.” And such grace must be strong if it is to compel men forward across a half-mile of open beach under the hail storm of endless enemy fire.

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to remember those who have fallen on behalf of our nation, across our nation’s history and around the world. Personally, I like to close my eyes and think about the places that they went and the conditions that they faced. The frozen ground of Valley Forge and the rolling hills of Gettysburg. The fields of the Somme and the jungles of Vietnam. The forests surrounding Bastogne and the deserts of Iraq. The Chosin Reservoir of Korea, where my deceased neighbor Frank watched his entire platoon disappear in minutes. A small, unnamed village in Afghanistan where 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo, my mentor and company captain at West Point, would pay “the last full measure of devotion.”

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This post is kicking off a series for my future monthly posts, appropriately titled “Hero Series.” Through these posts, I will be highlighting some personal heroes of mine (some real, some fictional) and calling out their character traits that I hope to model in my own life. While it is my hope that you may be introduced to some new heroes and to hear some interesting stories about the lives of some personal heroes of mine, the goal is that you would be inspired to think about your heroes and what it is about them that make you look up to them.

Who your heroes are says a great deal about you. It shows what impresses you, what you hold in high esteem, what you value and who you strive to be. I look forward to sharing my heroes with you over the next few months, and I hope you do the same with me.

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*Hero #1 Hint* My next post will focus on a person who was called “Plain Jack” growing up, Irish by birth, middle name was Staples, and died on the same day as the John F. Kennedy assassination. (No googling for the answer!)

Photo Credit

Adventure

Hey there.
I have a little treat for you. My sweet hubby has written a guest post for this week! I think this will be a monthly staple around here, so what should we call it? Hubby’s corner? Blogs with Bob? Shoot me some ideas friends.
Sit back and enjoy some soul lifting, heart challenging, dream inspiring words from one of the greatest guys I know. 

 

 

You may or may not know this about me, but I am a low-key geek.

 

Actually, you would only know this if you know me very well. I’m pretty good at holding a conversation about a host of topics that would be deemed far from geeky, like sports and personal fitness. But I also grew up reading the Chronicles of Narnia by flashlight until 2am. I spent an entire Saturday with my brother and friends watching a marathon of all three extended versions of the Lord of Rings trilogy; a grand total of fourteen hours well-spent. I joined a Dungeons & Dragons campaign and found myself Live-Action-Role-Playing (aka larping) with a nerf sword and a catcher’s mask against an imaginary Soul-Wraith. I skipped prom to play The Hobbit on my Gamecube and slay two packages of Oreos. I played the boardgame RISK so often by myself, my parents decided it would be in my best interest to purchase a computer edition so that I could at least interact with AI.

 

The list goes on and on, but the point is that I absolutely love being a citizen of Nerdom. Recently, I decided to feed the beast of my geeky cravings and snagged an audio book from the library that would fix me up; The Fellowship of the Ring.

 

There is nothing quite like your forty-five minute commute being filled with hobbits, cave trolls, dwarves, elves and a quest to save the world. As the first of three books that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote about Middle Earth, this book will always have a special place in my heart. And I don’t think I truly realized how special it was to me until I began listening to it again on the way to work just recently.

 

Somewhere along the way of Frodo escaping dark riders in order to complete an unexpected mission, I let loose an internal sigh and began to dream about what it would be like to be called into such an adventure. Isn’t that the allure of adventure stories? You live vicariously through a fictional character whose rather mundane life is turned upside down unexpectedly and is forced to change and be something that they never believed they could become. A forty-five minute commute is forty-five minutes too short if it is filled with stories that you wish you could be living. Especially on the way to work.

 

But what hit me was this; why not live a life of adventure? Why sit in a car daydreaming about stories and fantasizing about what it would be like to be there with Frodo and Gandalf, when I could be dreaming about the very adventure that lies before me once I park my car and head into my place of employment? What is stopping me from living life passionately and deliberately, choosing to see life as a story and a grand adventure?

 

These questions are only further compounded by a conversation that I had with a colleague earlier today about life. We had an incredible dialogue about life, about the rut of monotony and feeling unfulfilled. It was fascinating to watch him search for the words to describe what he was looking for. “I want an adventure,” he finally managed to say. Well-spoken.

 

Perhaps for him or for you, adventure might mean a career change or moving to a new city or starting something that you never dreamed was possible. But perhaps it simply means changing your perspective rather than your actions. Only you can answer that question.

 

For me, I may not meet a cave troll or be asked to carry an all-powerful ring into the darkest regions of Middle Earth, but I will be confronted by conflict, surrounded by friends and given an endless set of choices as to how I will use my time. I will be tried and tested in both the mundane and the spontaneous. I will grow in my craft and hone skills that have uniquely been given to me. I will suffer tragedy and celebrate triumph. As the chapters unfold, I will change and others will be changed by me. And if you skip to the final pages, I hope that you will find that my story found its meaning not in anything that I did, but that I knew the Author and that He knew me.

 

Are you living a life of adventure?

 

What would have to change for you to begin living deliberately and finding satisfaction in your story?

 

Where do you want your story to take you and who do you want to become along the way?

 

My literary hero, CS Lewis, said something absolutely profound about people and about life. He said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” Let us keep those words in our mind as we go about our day and live our stories fully. And let us remember that about ourselves.

 

You are not ordinary. You are not a mere mortal.

 

 

photo courtesy of Unsplash