Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What America is Historically ALL About - A Great 4th of July Story

What America has been Historically ALL About is LOVE, Life and Living in FREEDOM and the Pursuit of Happiness – Everyday!

(by Rob Stafford, MsNBC - Dateline correspondent)

As I drove the long winding road into the small logging town of Darrington, Washington, I worried about the little boy I was about to profile. Seth Cook has progeria, a rare premature-aging disease that is terminal. I thought about my own kids and how I would react to such a dire diagnosis. And I was concerned that if Seth sensed any apprehension on my part, I would hurt his feelings and that was the last thing I wanted to do.

Then I met Seth and he was not the boy I expected. Yes, like all children with progeria, he is frail and tiny. Seth stands just three feet tall and weighs only 25 pounds —the size of an average 2 or 3-year-old. But as soon as he spoke, I was struck by his confidence, strength and above all his optimism. Right away, he put me at ease — and I'm supposed to be the one making him feel comfortable. Soon Seth was showing me around town where it's clear he's the smallest big man on campus.

Everyone knows Seth.

We played with his dog in the park, took a stroll through the woods and he whopped me at one of his favorite video games. Seth loves to laugh and he laughs a lot. I wondered how could anyone facing Seth's future be so happy? Perhaps, I thought, his parents had sheltered him from the reality of his fate. Actually, I found that Patti and Kyle Cook have been very honest with their son. The Cooks have a strong faith and have given their son a double dose of unconditional love that seems to have prepared him for everything.

I didn't want to ask Seth about death, but he brought it up. "I can't wait to get to heaven," he said as though it were the coolest summer camp a kid could imagine. "What do you think heaven is like?" I asked. Seth replied, "I'm gonna go fishing with the Lord. Fishing for Swedish Fish and hunting Gummy Bears and chocolate rabbits. It's guaranteed that you catch at least 10 fish a day." But enough talking, Seth wanted to play some more so we did. Seth is a boy in a hurry and he doesn't waste a second.

While you might think Seth's story is about dying — it's really all about living and making the most of the life you've been given. I arrived in Darrington worried about saying the wrong thing to a boy with a terrible disease and left wanting to spend more time with one of the wisest persons I've ever met…

From another interview Rob wrote:

"If you can learn anything from this, it's to hold the people that are close to you and keep them close. Tell them you love them because you never know what's going to happen."


After the interview, I was supposed to fly back to work in New York. Instead I decided to rent a car and drive to my hometown in New Hampshire. I visited my family that night and caught a flight in the morning.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. (Thomas Jefferson)

July 4, 1776 The US Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Declaration sought to influence public opinion to support independence from England, and to gain support from foreign powers, particularly France. The document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, considered one of the strongest and most eloquent writers of the Continental Congress.

July 4, 1845 Writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau went to live in a shack adjacent to Walden Pond, Massachusetts. During his two-year stay he kept a journal of his thoughts and encounters with nature. His journal became the basis for "Walden," one of the most important treasures of US literature.

(Contributed by Lowell Merklin - Daily Mentor - FL)

Happy Independence Day !!! Semper Fi...


Have WE Shared the Time and the Love for Others - Today?
Have WE Shared The Truth – Today?
Have WE Shared in Saving a Life – Today?
"We CAN Everyday - If Together WE will only TRY - It is in ALL of Us"

Stephen Rene
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"Together - We Can Continue to Make a Difference - Everyday!"

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