Small Planes, Medium Fins, and Big Shoes



 

Have you ever sat on a chartered plane?


If not, let me tell you that outside of the additional fees, it's similar to a commercial flight. You fly from one location to your destination. Sure, you can sit wherever you want, but the experience is typical for air travel.


Last Friday, I boarded a chartered Liat flight from Antigua to St. Lucia. I traveled with Antigua and Barbuda's National Swim Team because my youngest child earned a position to compete in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) 30th Annual Swimming Championship. It took sacrifices to make this meaningful experience happen.


Not only did parents drive their swimmers to practices 6 -7 days per week to qualify, but they also covered the transportation fees for the select group to attend the prestigious competition. Despite national recognition as the country's team, we paid for and helped organize fundraisers to cover the traveling expenses. My family relied on a couple of sisters, grandparents, and friends for support.


Having resourceful family and friends in your life is a blessing.

On the morning of our flight, I received a text message from my mom that read, "Today marks the 47th anniversary of your grandfather Vernon’s death.” Can you imagine reading that someone with your first and last name died? The significance may not register with you on any normal day, but before boarding a small plane scheduled to travel at 16,000 feet for 50 minutes, thoughts about death get packed with your carry-on.


If you’re reading this, I survived.


My grandfather died in a landscaping accident on Monday, November 10, 1975. When out on a job with his business, he made contact with a live wire while cutting a tree. The electricity that moved through his forty-eight-year-old body took his life away.

Seven years later, my parents welcomed me into this world. They passed my grandfather's name to me along with his discipline, family values, and spiritual roots. As the only son among five daughters, my parents placed big shoes in front of me to lace.


Through passion and purpose, I am growing to carve a unique position in the Lindsay family tree.


Are you named after a parent or grandparent? Did you know that enslaved Africans often named male children after their fathers because slavery almost promised the premature death of older men?

I have my grandfather’s name to honor his legacy. My middle son is named after my father to continue the cycle of Lindsay men with their grandfather's names. I hope the footprint I leave in my children's lives inspires another Vernon.


Last weekend, I bonded with my youngest son. We shared a hotel room, ate every meal together, and spent time on a chartered flight. I photographed and captured video footage for him and the swim team.


On social media and in local newspapers, you can find some of my photos and videos that highlight Antigua and Barbuda’s National Swim Team’s first championship in the 30 years of the OECS swim meets.


Do you know what the win makes us? Yes, we are champions and history-makers.


This weekend, think about how you can champion causes unique to your life. Perhaps, that includes spending more mindful time with your children. Maybe, it involves some professional or justice-oriented goal to prevent Trump from gaining another round as president.

If you live in Antigua, perhaps it involves asking government officials to allocate funding for their national sports teams.


Whatever it is for you, live this Friday like it is your last. Hopefully, not soon, the sun will rise on one Friday, but you will not. Every day offers the blessing to improve and appreciate the beauty of life.


Below, check out the video recap I made with my son of the OECS 30th Annual Swimming Championship Meet.



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