Moms Columns & Blogs

Lead or Follow

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July, 2009

Are you a leader or a follower?  Such a deceptively simple question without an obvious answer as it applies to me…  I used be certain, confident, positive about my life’s path and my future…  Before, I considered myself a leader; nowadays, I’m not sure I’m a follower either.  I don’t know if I strictly fit one or the other.  I guess I’m a situational hybrid?  I try to lead by example while following the call on my life…

Yesterday my youngest sister did an interview for a local news show ‘Live at Five’ in Columbia.  One of the main discussion topics was the dangers of texting and driving; Winnie spoke of our campaign with Brian’s bracelets and how a phone call, pressing one button, can be deadly.  I couldn’t find the link online, but I’m sure she did a great job.  She said she broke down while talking about B, but I told her I think it probably helped make the message more real to the viewers.  I’m not sure how she managed to do it on live television…  The thought of speaking in front of people scares me…even about this…  I suppose I’d best get over it since I’ve committed to talking about Brian’s story in front of two groups in August…

I’ve started carrying extra bracelets in my purse; opportunities keep popping up in the most unexpected places...  Just like today…the world grew a bit smaller right before my eyes even as our backyard grew larger… 

I crossed paths with someone for the first time that was touched by our tragedy on that awful day in multiple ways, another instance of connections closer than six degrees…  My sister Betsy and I drove to pick up lunch from Chili’s in the University area.  We plopped down in the lounge to wait for our order and the manager on duty came out to speak with her; he recognized her name from when they worked together.  As they exchanged stories from the last few years, he noticed the bracelets on our arms and asked about them.  Betsy’s eyes filled with tears and she couldn’t answer, so I jumped in and explained…  He got the strangest look on his face, a mixture of shock, disbelief and amazement…. 

He was managing the Chili’s in Pineville when Brian’s accident occurred; he recalled hearing the many sirens and walking outside to try and see what happened.  And he lives in the Windrow neighborhood; his daughter is on the swim team, so they know Sunny and remember Brian from last summer’s practices.  Lastly, his child’s best friend is a Pine Lake swimmer who wears a bracelet around her ankle all the time, so he’s seen it on many occasions.  He has heard of us and our story before, but the picture was incomplete.  My sister and I have different last names, so he would have no reason to connect us, but it is mind-boggling to realize how one person separates us in several directions.

I’ve no idea what lies in store for us, but encounters like this make me feel as though the blind steps we’ve taken thus far are in the right direction, following the mission laid upon my heart…  I hope I’m up to the task; I’m starting to understand sometimes being a follower is every bit as challenging as trying to lead…

Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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