The most amazing gift . . . the last Reed’s Run
As the CEM (Chief Executive Momma) of this family, it is very difficult to surprise me. Oh, I love surprises. When there are always little ears and eyes, a lot of “oopsies” moments happen. The other reason for the lack of surprises in my life is the fact that I am a planner. When looking at details from carpools to holidays and from appointments to events, I am usually the keeper of all that goes on around here.
The ten months of planning that it took to pull off Reed’s Run each year were fraught with lots and lots of lists. Auction lists, t-shirts, website updates, marketing, parade promotions, registration forms, medals, volunteers . . . the list went on and on. Exhausting, but in the end so worth it.
On the actual day, I flit about often being pulled in many different directions. I rarely eat, and I hug lots of people. I share a few tears, but none have compared to this year’s finale.
Everything was running smoothly (albeit not without a few bumps in the road). So to those that shielded me, THANK YOU and those that offered grace, THANK YOU even more! We finally got down to the last parts of the evening, the awards ceremony, the Jesus Painter performance, and the movie. I was up on the stage announcing the winners of the various medals and was to introduce Mike Lewis for the worship time.
As I concluded the awards, all of a sudden I see Matthew (my high school best friend) coming toward the stage. I really wish this were videotaped, because I can only imagine what my face actually looked like. My mind was thinking, “This is weird. I haven’t seen you in twenty-three years, but I wasn’t expecting a deviation from my plan.” As he came on stage and took the microphone from me, I am certain I was questioning his judgment and mine.
What happened next, I never saw coming. But as I saw one of Reed’s former Scout masters in uniform also coming forward, my knees grew weak and the flood gate of tears opened up. Matt explained how he was so excited to be here and about our friendship. He then told the tale of how he had made arrangements with Reed’s former troop for this special occasion. He shared about his summer long ago at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and how I was his pen pal while he was gone. They were special memories.
Because of some kind of rule on timelines in the BSA, Reed couldn’t be awarded his own Eagle Scout. Sobbing in front of everyone, I heard one of the sweetest tales ever told. My dear friend decided Reed would indeed be earning his Eagle Scout, just not in the normal way. The gift he gave in honor our sweet redheaded boy is truly the embodiment of scouting.
We were handed Reed’s Eagle Scout award, his Eagle neckerchief, and a Philmont Scout Ranch patch. The Boy Scout Law states all the qualities that define scouts. A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. What it doesn’t say is that a Scout gives sacrificially, because in this magical moment, that’s exactly what happened.
The award placed in my trembling hands was Matthew’s own Eagle Scout award, “re-awarded” to Reed. Engraved on the award is the motto, Be Prepared. There was no way my heart was prepared for this surprise as it was truly an amazing gift.