Monday, May 23, 2011


During the Second World War, the USS Astoria was badly damaged by a Japanese vessel and sank.  Signalman 3rd Class, Elgin Staples, was swept overboard and kept afloat by a lifebelt.  Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer which again was sunk.  He was back in the ocean but OK thanks to his great lifebelt.  He was picked up once more by the USS President Jackson and on-board he examined the lifebelt that had saved him.  It read that it had been manufactured by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and bore a registration number.  Given home leave, Staples told his story to his mother, who happened to work for Firestone, and when they did research on the serial number, they found out that she had been the one to assemble the lifebelt.  One of those amazing acts of providential motherly love. 

My mom and dad have both provided me with similar "lifebelts".  Its taken a few years later to realize all of the lessons. 

Now I'm in the position to provide lifebelts to my little kids.  The lifebelt of being kind to others, to do work they are proud of, the importance of spending less than they earn, how to love and be loved - and how to get back up when you've been kicked down.

Won't be easy to do, but worth it.

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