Friday, February 25, 2011

Home in the Mist-Covered Mountains

For a number of us, this work week was of the four-day variety. We spent our Monday honoring the legacy of Martin Van Buren and the Adams family. For a number of us, the holiday was observed in abstentia. It appeared on our desk calendar but not in our day-to-day.

In weather so dismal that it reinforced the difficulty I often have distinguishing propriety from irony, the Hotsinpiller family of Bridgeport, West Virginia spent the Monday of this week burying 24 year-old Derek. Derek Hotsinpiller was a Deputy United States Marshal killed in the line of duty on February 16. Deputy Hotsinpiller died while attempting to serve a warrant. The man upon whom the warrant was to be served murdered Deputy Hotsinpiller in the little town of Elkin, West Virginia.

Other than knowing that he is somone else's son and knowing that he opted to pursue the same path of public service as another son I know very well, I know not a thing about this young man or his family other than what I read in the days following his death. I understand from that which I have read and that which I have heard that he was quite an exceptional young man. His life impacted positively on those he knew and those he loved and will continue to do so into the future out beyond the point where the road ahead touches the horizon line.

His death was and shall continue to be hard on those who loved him. His memory shall remain alive not only in the hearts and minds of his family but also in the hearts and minds of those with whom he served. It shall remain alive in the hearts and minds of his brothers and sisters in arms who never met him.

It is Friday. Whether you were an 80% or a 100% worker this week, no doubt you are today feeling both a bit tired and a bit excited. Your work week is completed. The weekend awaits. Regardless of how the week has gone for you and me, it is unlikely that it has gone as roughly as it has for the Hotsinpillers. On Wednesday, Rob sent me a link to an extraordinary piece written by a man I do not know about a young man who I did not know. While I apologize to anyone who has slogged through this piece of silliness to arrive at this point, your faith has now been rewarded. Take a moment or two before extinguishing the light in your workspace to learn a bit about a young man whose name you may not have known until you learned of his death. You may come to find out - as I did when I read it - that you knew him better than you realized - even if you did not know his name.

Be careful out there. Enjoy February's final weekend.

-AK

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