Thursday, March 02, 2006

Who's packing your parachute

This tree is like many people I have known, including myself. We once thought it was dead and were surprised to see new life springing from death.

I just got this from my blog E mail address. It comes from a lady named Linda Eppely, who is one of the many I have met through this blog. Linda is another “Survivor”, one who has sustained a traumatic brain injury and has gone through the problems many of us do. This is a good thought so I thought I would share it.

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat
missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb
ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years
in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures
on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man
at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in
Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk . You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise
and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb
assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb
says, I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white
hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I
might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or
anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor."
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table
in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the
silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he
didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"
Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the
day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his
plane was shot down over enemy territory -- he needed his physical
parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual
parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what
is really important We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you,
congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give
a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through
this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your

Bob, I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in
packing my parachute . And I hope you will send it on to those who have
helped pack yours!

Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without
writing a word. Maybe this could explain it: When you are very busy, but
still want to keep in touch, guess what you do -- you forward jokes. And to
let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you
are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded

So my friend, next time when you get a joke, don't think that you've
been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of
today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you
a smile, just helping you pack your parachute........
I suppose that is what I do. I spend my time helping, or at least trying to help, those who’s paths cross mine. Some do not appreciate it, some resent it, and many will never know, but that is fine with me. I don’t do it for accolades. I just feel that my life is a gift and a privilege so I share that gift the best I can. I get uncomfortable when some tell me “thank you” or “I don’t know what I would have done without you” all the time but it is good to hear. It’s got “Go to hell” beat by a long shot.

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