My husband, Sean, wrote an OpEd article for our local newspaper to honor and remember one of his scouts after his tragic and sudden death. It was published in this past Sunday's paper. Here is the article.
Overcoming fear with faith
The recent death of 17-year-old Eric Forrester has brought the fear of violence to center stage once again.
Eric was athletic, studious, kind, moral and filled with tremendous potential. He was Christ-centered and family-focused and took his responsibilities to honor both seriously. His secular and spiritual knowledge formed a conviction and resolve that allowed him to not only endure life's challenges but also enjoy its opportunities. His quiet faith carried the force of a raging sea and his inner light gave strength to those who knew him.
Others relied on Eric's strength in helping to overcome their own fears.
About two years ago, I went on my first Boy Scout camping trip to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. We stopped at a state park and decided to explore a cave known as the "ice box" because of the sudden temperature drop as explorers quickly submerged deep into its caverns. I fell hard in that cave and was injured. Fearing my leg was broken, I began the treacherous, quarter-mile climb out of the cave, down the path and to the parking lot where I could receive medical attention.
As I looked at my swelling leg, I knew the pain I was in and the challenge before me and fear began to take root. I faced my fear and overcame this challenge only because one scout, in particular, remained calm, slightly humorous and dutifully carried me to safety.
That scout's name was Eric Forrester.
For a time, I was Eric's Boy Scout leader, but he was always my hero. We shared an appreciation for "slip on" shoes and even joined our camping buddies to compete in the Texas Hog Wrestling Championships. Eric never feared the hogs just as he never was overcome with fear by life's challenges. Fear was always replaced with faith.
I see no other way to honor Eric than to live like him; press on with faith in every footstep I take. Our lives are his legacy. May we all resolve to live well.
-- Sean Connelly, Fort Worth
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-Margaret D. Nadauld