Yep, there was a live eagle at Miles’ Eagle Scout Court of Honor...and it was cool. Way cool. When Bryce walked into the room with her I think everyone on the room gasped; I know I did. She is so large, powerful, and majestic. Holy cow! (....or raptor as the case may be….) Bryce told Des Ta Te’s story and then related a real eagle’s choice and nest building to an Eagle Scout’s choices and life building. It was a nice presentation.
As cool as the Eagle was, the next part, in my mind, was ever better. Miles asked each of the boys in his troop to take a word (he assigned the words) from the Scout Law and, in a 1-2 minute message, explain what that word meant and give an example of how it applied to a Scout. Given that they are 11-16 year old boys, I fully expected several of them to stand and say, “I forgot about this…” and then go on to mumble some half-baked thoughts. It did not happen. Not once. Every single young man had prepared and had prepared well. Many of them were not eloquent but all were sincere. It was truly beautiful to see those young men express heartfelt thoughts.
When Miles planned the program, he wanted all the YM in his troop to feel included, to play an active part in the program. Neither of us anticipated that it would turn into a tribute to Miles. However with the older boys (the ones who have known and worked with Miles) that is what happened. Aiden, who spoke about the word “loyal” said that Miles is very loyal and one of his best friends. Jake identified Miles as one of the most helpful people he knows and Zach paid tribute to him as being brave. I was almost embarrassed by what must have appeared like a set up to get compliments but, honestly, it wasn’t. It was nice though….
Miles has said since he first attended a Court of Honor that he would give me his mentor pin. (Vain person that I am, I silently embraced the idea.) When he learned that he could give 2 pins he was flummoxed as to who should receive the second pin. There were several strong contenders, one of whom was his cousin with whom he earned many merit badges. Bless his heart, Miles prayed about it. In answer to his prayer, he chose Louis Anderson, a widower in our ward who was his leader when he was a Cub. It was a beautiful, tender choice, one that meant the world to a man who has recently found his world much emptier than it was..
The eagle was nice, the scouts were nice and the choice of mentor pin recipients was nice. Also nice was the support given our son. Actually, it was more than nice; it was incredible. The Court of Honor was very well supported by family and friends alike. Meikles (including teen cousins who probably had a zillion other places they would rather be), Gibbsons, both sets of grandparents, Cooper and (after Maggie’s swim team banquet) his family, Aunt Linda and David Varner all came. Grace went to the U for a class and then came back to Roy for the Court of Honor. Lots of people from the ward came too, so many that the 60 chairs we set up were not enough. We had to set up 20 more. Michael Drago came, bless his heart, and brought 4 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My dad made (and brought) 10 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Sandy and Bill Underwood delayed their vacation 24 hours so they could attend.
And darling Sister Biddle! Earlier she mentioned that she loves shopping at WinCo but cannot find anyone who will take her there. (Due to age and mobility issues, she is unable to drive.) Finding a WinCo trip on my agenda, I invited her to come with me. “I better not,” she said. “I better wait until another payday before I go shopping.” (She is also in a very fixed income, having no retirement and dependent solely on Social Security.) Limited funds and restricted mobility aside, Lois found a way to attend Miles’ Court of Honor and to further honor him with a gift from Deseret Book, a beautiful silver tie tack, adorned (of course) with an eagle. Talk about the widow’s mite!
Heartwarming. A lot more than heart warming actually. Is heart heating an appropriate term? Maybe heart burning? (Not to be confused with heartburn….) Awesome by all accounts.
Thanks Miles for giving this opportunity to see and experience so much love. And thanks to family and friends who so generously gave us the love-filled experience.