By nature, I am intensely private. While I am perfectly willing to tell on myself for the ridiculous things I do and that have happened to me, it is really difficult for me to share my life on a deeper level with those I don’t know. Let’s face it: It’s difficult for me to share my life on a deeper level with those I DO know.
When our son was killed in action last August, our lives were suddenly open for discussion. While we turned down nearly every offer to appear on TV and in print, we certainly could not stop others from sharing what they knew or what they believed about our family and our son. (For the most part, people were kind and truthful, so we feel fortunate.)
When your life is open for scrutiny, it makes you look at how you live. Do we really believe what we say we believe? Do we really feel that passionately about that cause? Do we really know who or what we stand for?
I have always felt the tug at my heart to live at a deeper level. I wanted to make a difference in this world. I wanted to fight for a cause that is greater than myself. But to be real honest, the life-change that comes from being a mother spins the world in a whole new way. Suddenly, I only wanted to make a difference in MY world. I only wanted to fight for MY children. Parenthood, especially those first few years, really brings into focus who you are (which is incredibly ironic, because those first few years are a total blur).
The truth is that most of us will not know the impact we have had on this world. There is no way Spencer would have ever believed his life touched so many other lives. And he never would have dreamed his death could bring together a community, or inspire people to make their lives count. Spencer was just following his dream to be on a Chinook crew and his belief that freedom has a price.
So, that’s the message of the Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count Project. We are just following our dreams of making a difference in the lives of veterans and our belief that one person, or one group of people, can make our time on earth count for something greater than ourselves. Whether or not you join with us, we encourage you to make each day of your life count. No, wait. I take that back. We DARE you.
Proud mom of Spc. Spencer C. Duncan and two other amazing young men