Last night, as I do every night, I sat with my mom to watch a movie. With her condition, she can’t do most of the things that she enjoyed doing in the past. But last night’s movie turned out to be special. Not in and of itself, but by what happened to me later in the evening. The movie was “The Eternal Sea.” It’s about a man who was supposed to take over command of a ship during World War II but wound up losing a part of his leg from a battle at sea.

What normally turns out to be another officer discharged with a medical disability was upended because of his perseverance and determination. He was not one to be deterred nor let challenges stand in the way of his goals or his needs in life. He not only stayed in the Navy but became a decorated Admiral who was responsible for ushering in the use of jet aircraft on Navy carriers. At the end of his last sea duty, he was given two cherry jobs to choose from. He turned both down to do what he saw as his calling; helping handicapped Navy service personnel, and putting others before himself.

Later on, I watched a chat conversation between members in one of the associated CDH & TGH chatrooms. The subject of their chat was in relation to her spouse not being agreeable to her transition, and that was probably putting it mildly. I knew she had been facing this batter for many years, and was desperately trying to find some amicable and happy ground for things to move forward in some positive direction.

What do these two things have to do with each other? Everything. A classic “The song remains the same, only the words change,” analogy. The Admiral in the movie and my friend both had challenges, severe challenges thrust at them, and at a time and place not of their choosing. But neither did they give up. That path of not giving up, neither knowing whether or not they would succeed, has similarities. The Admiral may not have succeeded in his endeavor, but he continued and refused to give up his pursuit. And I suspect my friend will do the same. You see, the Navy was the Admiral’s world, and their wife was my friend’s world.

Do we sometimes feel as if life has given us a challenge that is too much to bear? Probably most of the time. But it is what also separates us from the others because we don’t just limp along until some other predator finishes the act. No, we take on the challenge by grabbing the horns, wrestling it this way and that because we have the confidence to know that in the end, one way or another, we will come out on top. Will it always be the outcome we first envisioned? Yes, and again, most likely not. But it shouldn’t deter us. It might be the second, or the tenth, or even the ten thousandth outcome. Still, we struggle on while maintaining confidence in our abilities.

Today may be the day your biggest challenge gets dumped in your lap, or maybe it has already, and you are trying to overcome it. It doesn’t matter so much if it’s physical, mental, financial, emotional, or social. What does matter is that we keep plugging along, trying this thing and that thing in our quest to overcome. And that is one bond we all share; our struggles with our eternal sea…

EnFemme

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    J J
    Lady
    Active Member
    13 days ago

    Lord Nelson lost an arm in battle, and went on to win the Battle of Trafalgar where lost his life. He also lost sight in one eye in a previous battle. Some people are easily defeated, which others do not stop no matter the challenges confronting them. 
    We can overcome just about any adversity if we choose and fight, but many people just give up. 

    Peggy Sue Williams
    Duchess
    Famed Member
    13 days ago

    Thank you Michelle for this article.

    The Eternal Sea is the true story of US Navy Rear Admiral John M Hoskins.

    What drove RADM Hoskins is the same thing that drove the men on D-Day,
    June 6, 1944, Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of D-day.

    Several of our CDH members have served in the various military services of
    the United States and other nations. They should feel free to join the CDH
    International Military Veterans Group here on CDH.

    Peggy Sue
    US Navy – Retired

    Last edited 13 days ago by Peggy Sue Williams
    Jane Millane
    Lady
    Active Member
    12 days ago

    Very interesting as l saw a movie years ago where the African American who worked hard to become a master chief diver, through all the challenges due to racism etc. He became a master chief diver and lost his leg due to an accident where an anchor came loose and he pushed a sailer out of danger and the anchor took his leg, after learning to walk with a prosthetic he wanted to take his posting as a master chief diver again, however as the diving suit was heavy he had to walk ten feet with it on. The man… Read more »

    Peggy Sue Williams
    Duchess
    Famed Member
    12 days ago
    Reply to  Jane Millane

    @candycross 
    Master Chief Carl Brashear

    Suzanne Martin
    Member
    Active Member
    11 days ago

    Michelle –
    Thank you for a very thoughtful article. Your words offer encouragement to all no matter what they are struggling with. We all face many challenges in life and must persevere. It is when times get tough that we must remember that we are not alone and that reaching out to friends for advice and help is okay and not a sign of weakness. 
    XOXOSuzanne

    Michelle Brown
    Lady
    Member
    11 days ago

    Thanks Michelle for a great and very inspiring article.I watched a movie yesterday “The Longest Day" about WW2 and D Day,June 6 .I have watched this movie many times and what still impresses me is their toughness,their espirit de core,and lets get the job done attitude.My Dad and my uncles were in WW2 and I could see it in their faces.They were the greatest generation.When I returned from VietNam,Dad looked at Mom and said “Thats my Son".I was accepted into the club and have the same attitude."Drive on and go for it." “Airborne,All the Way."If you have problems,there is always… Read more »

    Angela Booth
    Member
    Trusted Member
    10 days ago

    So long as you find your calm in the eternal sea then it’s a safe place to be.

    Michelle Brown
    Lady
    Member
    10 days ago

    Its been a long time Angela,but I have found my calm.Its crossdressing and CDH.

    Dawn Quickoates
    Dawn Quickoates
    10 days ago

    They say that only when the water is calm can it reflect the will of the Heavens.  

    DeeAnn Hopings
    Member
    9 days ago

    @Michelle Lawson A while back I mentioned several drivers in the Motorsports! Group on TGH who had overcome very significant injuries and raced again. In addition, I mentioned Rico Abreu. His issue is not injury. It is the condition of dwarfism. He stands 4’-4” and weighs 95 pounds. In spite of this, he is an Absolute BadAss in midgets and 900 horsepower sprint cars. It was Mark Twain who said:It isn’t about the size of the dog in the fight,It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.Every time Rico Abreu gets into a race car he proves Twain… Read more »

    Lea
    Lady
    Trusted Member
    9 days ago

    @Michelle Lawson I enjoyed your post. Such a great topic idea! Have we really faced our biggest challenge yet. Does being a hidden CD or struggling to be a CD offer one of our life’s most difficult challenges. Thought provoking. Every challenge I’ve faced in life made me stronger, more experienced, more able in some way. I feel the lesson learned is that if I find the strength to endure, I can overcome anything, eventually. You’re so right and inspirational. We should let challenges or rough times deter. We’ll be okay. Stay the course, all ahead full, (wo)man the stations,… Read more »

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