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It was Memorial Day weekend, and we were celebrating Memorial Day at the beach with good friends. It was also my wife’s 48th Birthday MONTH, so every day was a re-celebration of her special day. The weather was great, the water was warm, the sand was soft, I was totally set to just melt away into reading a book and perhaps a nap. But something STRONGER happened.

As I stared out into the blue ocean, I kept noticing young twin girls playing together at the water’s edge less than 100 feet away. Perhaps I was simply reminiscing of summers ago when my daughter was 5, about their age, as I readied for her upcoming high school graduation. The girls kept going between the water and building sandcastles further up the beach. Their parents sat next to us and kept a watchful eye on their young girls but were not overanxious or protective. What also caught my eye was a purple walker, stuck in the sand about 3 feet into the water. What was a walker doing in the ocean in the middle of the day? And how did it even get there? Who did it belong to as well?

WHAM – one of the twins had a severe disability and needed the walker to move about. How did I not notice this for hours? The twins were in my natural sightline, they had caught my attention, and certainly their parents would have been more watchful as their most prized possessions were so close to a powerful ocean and required the assistance of a walker.

And that is when I witnessed STRENGTH, in its most beautiful, natural and manifested form. Twin 1 – The young twin with the disability built sandcastles, threw sand at her sister, dumped water in the castles moat, sat in the ocean while the water washed over her and as the day wore on I witnessed her push her walker in and out of the ocean and up and down the beach. She knew no disability; she only knew this was her life. Twin 2 – The sister equally threw sand, built sandcastles, poured water in moats, and actually jabbed her sister a little as she ran past her with her speediness from time to time. She only knew her sister as she was; this too was her life and the life of her sister. Mom & Dad – The parents were as cool as the other side of the pillow – never a fret, or an over-cautious eye, or an extra hand or anything that was different from any kid that age playing on the beach. Well, in fact, they were probably better than many helicopter parents, that would have been on-top of their kids every step of the way.

And the purple walker that was absolutely covered in sand and suntan lotion – no one had the remotest concern of the wear and tear on that thing – it was beautiful, and it all seemed so natural to this family. The naturalness and normalcy that I witnessed of that family on the beach on Memorial Day weekend was truly a very special reminder of what STRENGTH truly is in its most raw and honest form.

To the family on the beach and the special little owner of the purple walker, thank you for being my teacher, you have taught me so well, and I will never forget you for it. Let’s all channel our STRENGTH and learn from this family – strength in action.




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