One of my greatest aspirations in life has become: to be a “nobody.” This probably sounds very depressing, and perhaps even negative to some people, but it is not meant to be—not in the least bit!!! In fact, I have come to believe that it is even key to experiencing true peace and happiness… Julian and Josie have both helped me to learn this lesson more completely—in life here, and also in their partings.

It is natural for us all to want to feel important—like our lives matter; it is even essential for our well-being to be loved and nurtured. In fact, if neglected in these ways, we can absolutely fail to thrive as human-beings!!! We all need to know we have purpose, and understand how we fit into the bigger picture. This bigger picture is precisely where being a nobody is so critical to our happiness…

I will never forget the day that Julian was trying to explain to me why he was certain he wanted to become a Marine, and what that meant to him. I know this is a question that all young recruits are asked at some point. It does not have an easy answer, because I believe it is a feeling inside that comes with a vision that is beyond their ability to put into words!!! My son summed it up in much the same way that I have since heard other young Marines answer, “I want to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Graduation Day at MCRD San Diego—makin’ his family proud!!!
He took his job seriously…

I believe he was sincere in his quest to do just that. I have always been more proud of my children for the kind of people they are, and how they treat others, than any other worldly title or thing they might “accomplish” in this life. I am proud of those things, too, because I recognize the effort and sacrifice that is required to reach most goals, but ultimately when we face our Maker, those things will not be true indicators of what kind of person we are, or how we have impacted the lives of those around us—whether for good or for bad; that is what will truly matter. Indeed, I believe we can be complete nobodies in the face of our Creator, and yet still experience an absolute fullness of joy!!! To the Lord, us nobodies are all cherished SOMEBODIES!!!!!

I recall another conversation I had with Julian after he had become a Marine… He told me that the kind of people that seemed to struggle the most in the Corps were the people that tried to be individuals. I cannot put everything into his exact words, but he described it to me in such a way that I understood how important it was that Marines be good team players—this was not about “standing-out” from the crowd! What a concept for our modern-day world!!! In a time when most are trying to create personal brands and stand-out from the rest, these young men and women in uniform are unifying to become part of an exceptional force for the greater good—irrespective of political ideologies, race, religion, or other dividing factors so prevalent in our present times…

Though each of us is indeed important and unique, this life is not really about us!!! It is about taking care of one another, and being a good people. By “damping” our egos a bit, we become a special sort of somebody that is more apt to feel a deeper sense of love and gratitude for the beautiful moments around us, and most especially for those people that we hold dearest. I have seen this selflessness in countless young Marines since my son’s passing from this life, and it is very humbling to behold.

While stuck in the medical platoon as a “nobody” at bootcamp (even less than a lowly recruit), Julian was still their EVERYTHING!!!!!
Little Man’s Whole World

Sadly, these young warriors are frequently treated as mere “numbers,” but to those that know and love them best, they are not only somebody very special—they are their WHOLE. ENTIRE. WORLD!!!! Among the ranks of these tremendous young men and women are some of our world’s finest nobodies—true servants and heroes that God is surely smiling down upon, as they quietly and courageously give without any need for reward or recognition. They do it for each other, they do it for their families, and they do it to contribute to that greater good that is much larger than us all…

I very much desire to be like them—a part of something far bigger and brighter than myself… If I should ever shine in any way, let it be in such a way that I might somehow blend my own nobodiness into the bright expanse of the WHOLE; I do not want to stand out. As a nobody, I hope to find my own little bit of peace as I follow in the footsteps of my humble children. The only kind of somebody that I hope to be is, somebody surrounded by their love…

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