March 29, 2020

The above question has been on my mind a lot this past week.  The question was triggered in my mind by an interview I saw on Fox news.  Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick was being asked several question about the coronavirus.  One of the questions was, “What are your thoughts about President Trump’s  saying that he hoped America could get back to work by Easter?”

The Lt. Governor said that he agreed that we do get back to work as soon as possible.  Then he stated that our economy was critical to the way of life we have enjoyed in our country, and that if the ecnomy was ruined that it would really hurt our children an grandchildren.  Then he stated what made so many very angry at him all over America.  He said, “I am 70 years old and would gladly risk my life to save our economy for my grandchildren.”

The next day after the interview, many critical articles were about him, including an editorial from my hometown newspaper, The Longview News-Journal.

I felt very sorry for the Lt. Governor and sent him a personal email saying I was sorry for all the flack he received over the interview and that I supported him and understood his sentiment. Then I told him that apparently his critics do not love their family like you and I love ours.  I got an email back from him late Saturday night saying how much he appreciated my letter to him.

Throughout my life, I can name several people that were willing to sacrifice their lives for family.

One such incident occured when my  family went  on a picnic and  swimming event at a secluded lake not far from where we lived.  I was about 12 years old.  Attending the event was my Granddaddy Jay Sinclair, Grandmother Mae Sinclair, my mother, Darline Plumley, my Aunt Leo Redmon and her husband, Uncle Earl Redmon, my first cousins on my mother’s side of the family, James, Edna, and Judy, my brother David and my sister, Lana.

I remember that picnic as though it were yesterday. And you’ll see why in a minute.

All us kids were in the lake swimming. The girls were swimming and playing in a place about 200 feet from where the boys were swimming.  My brother and James and I were all very good swimmers, but the girls didn’t swim at the time and Edna and Judy were sharing the only life vest we had.  I think Lana was floating on an inner tube.

Anyhow, Judy got separated from Edna on the life vest and couldn’t get back to Edna and she panicked and started to yell for help.  The boys couldn’t get to her real quick because she was too far away from us.  But Uncle Earl wasn’t too far away up on the bank with all the adults.  He started taking off his shoes and taking his wallet out of his pants and I guess he was going to jump in and swim out to get Judy, but while Uncle Earl was getting ready to jump in the lake, Granddaddy Jay ran as fast as he could and jumped in the lake with all his clothes and wallet still intact.  He got to Judy before it was too late and grabbed her and swam her back to the bank.

Granddaddy Jay surely saved Judy from drowning, while at the same time risking his own life. I don’t think Uncle Earl thought Judy was in imminent danger, or I’m sure he would have done what Granddaddy did. That event spoiled our desire to stay longer.  So since we had already eaten our picnic lunch, we decided to go home.

When we got home and while Grandmother May was trying to dry out granddaddy’s wallet contents he came out of their bedroom after he had changed clothes.  He was staring at grandmother ironing his wet bills, his social security card, driver’s license, etc.

I said to Granddaddy, “I’m sorry you got all the things in your wallet wet and may not be able to save everything.”

He said to me, “Nothing in that wallet would I trade for Judy’s life.  I would gladly risk my life and all that I own to save one of my family.”

That’s a statement that we preacher’s hear and say, “that will preach.”

My granddaddy lived a sermon.  He was a sermon that other people could see.  He wasn’t perfect, but he was a saint to me and the rest of his family.

I could go on and on about people risking their lives for their family, but I’ll just be brief and say that my daddy risked his life all his working career for his family. He worked on oil drilling rigs. That was a very dangerous occupation.  He told us many times of people getting killed while working on a rig. But daddy did it because it paid well and he knew his family needed the income he received.

Jesus spoke of laying down your life for a friend. He would go on to His crucifixion to prove His point.

I’m sure you know people who would lay down their lives for you, and that if you really love your family, you would lay down your life for them.  I would do it any day for mine. Think about this post for a long time.

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley