Six months ago, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland set sail from California. Her goal was to beat the record set by her brother, Zac, who sailed solo around the world in 2009 at the age of 17.
Her parents were criticized for their decision to allow her to make the attempt. They claimed she was prepared, mentally and emotionally, to deal with the challenge.
A few days ago, Abby wrote in her blog that she was experiencing several days of rough weather and her boat "was rolling around like crazy". Her family lost contact with her for 20 hours before she was found yesterday.
I followed her blog posts from the beginning. I was awed by her courage and fortitude. She was so different from many of the teenagers I meet who are immersed in texting, friending, shopping and hanging out.
I don't know if I could have done what Abby's parents did. I would have feared losing my children. My focus would have been on 'my loss' rather than on 'their dream'.
Could Abby's dream be an extraordinary case of sibling rivalry, a desire to best her older brother? I don't think so. I think her parents, who knew that their daughter was ready, trusted her character and ability. They believed she should have the same chance as her brother. It's called equal opportunity and it begins in the home.
Abby and Zac are remarkable people. So are their parents. who provided them with a legacy of trust,belief in themselves and the courage and love to let them go. http://tinyurl.com/
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