Do Your Best

Tonight I spent time with friends and strangers, all gathered to say a final farewell to a great man and to give support to his wife and children.  I felt a little out of place, since I didn’t know Jim well. Except for a few other Scout parents, I didn’t know anybody there.  But, I also felt I had to be there.  Even if I had stood alone in a corner, I needed to be there.  From the moment I found out he was ill, I have been drawn to this family.  No, it started before that.  He called me, personally, when I expressed interest in my son joining the Scout Pack.  He spoke with me for 30 minutes or more, overlooking the pauses when I had to address questions or problems from my son.  I felt like I was talking to an old friend.  He was easy, relaxed, informative, familiar.  When I found out he was diagnosed with cancer, it was like being punched in the gut.  I empathize with people when I hear of illness like this.  But this hit me at the root for some reason.  This shook my hope.  Now I feel disoriented.

Tonight brought the distinction of a color guard and flag ceremony at Jim’s wake by the boys of Pack 616.  No – tonight they were young men, as each one stood proud in his uniform, saluting and uttering the words of the Scout Promise, Law and Motto.  Then, one-by-one they approached Jim and saluted him, some leaving camp patches and rank pins in the casket.  What courage and strength of character they showed.  This is what Jim Turner did for these boys.  I was proud to watch them.  And I know Jim was, too.

This man who I barely knew has left a hole in my life and my heart.  His three young sons were left with the echo of his voice saying the Scout Motto: Do Your Best.  He lived it, and I believe they will too.

God bless the Turners as they learn to live this new life, one filled with memories but lacking one precious piece.

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