You can choose to be unsinkable in life

One of my favourite things about childhood was day-long fishing trips to north country lakes.
Lakes that were cool and clear. And very deep. It took an enormously long fishing line to reach the bottom, where the best bullheads and the largest perch waited.
But my favourite way of fishing was for the quick and easy fish. Sunfish we called them as they darted about just below the surface of the water, sparkling as they swam. I loved to let down my line only two or three feet and start pulling them in.
Oh, but those days were fun! We took a picnic lunch and a jug of water and ate our sandwiches while anchored in the middle of the lake.
It was a funny thing but it always seemed fishing was better on the other end of the boat. And then to my eternal amazement, we were allowed to switch places, inching along the flat bottom slowly to the other end, with strong warnings of “Don’t rock the boat!”
No life jackets and 80 feet of water. Still, I must admit to always having felt “unsinkable” in the middle of Perch Lake.
Unsinkable is a word that isn’t even in the dictionary. And probably wouldn’t be in the vernacular at all if it weren’t for Debbie Reynolds. For you can’t really say the word unsinkable without adding Molly Brown.
The “Unsinkable Molly Brown” is an inspiring movie based on the life of a real woman. A woman with such spunk that nothing could sink her. Not poverty nor mean neighbours. Not lack of education nor snobbery. Not even the listing Titanic.
But for me, the real hero of that movie has always been the woman who played Molly Brown–the “Unsinkable” Debbie Reynolds. And that’s why I was so pleased recently to have the opportunity to interview her by telephone.
Debbie Reynolds was just like I’d always imagined. Warm and friendly and kind. And articulate. But above all, spunky and “unsinkable.” And the question I couldn’t wait to ask her was what she thinks it is that makes her that way.
Her answer came easily. “I’m not a person that gives up,” she said. “I might be knocked down but with God’s help, I will manage to work through the problems life presents.”
Said Reynolds, “You must be able to stick like glue at living–at wanting to live.”
None of us has an easy time in life, and neither has Debbie Reynolds. She’s known poverty and betrayal. Grief and disappointment. Like all of us, she’s had plenty of reason to give up. But she doesn’t.
Instead, she works through the problems of life. And like her character Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds would be sure to say, “I might give out but I won’t give in.”
There are a lot of important qualities to develop this side of 60 but I can’t think of a single one that’s more important than being “unsinkable.” Just think about it. How will we ever accomplish the important work we were sent here to do if we give up in despair just because the going gets rough.
Courage is what we need–courage to face the hard times and move on to the good times. And if you need a dose of courage, why not have fun tonight with a Debbie Reynolds movie. She was unsinkable at 20 and she’s still unsinkable at 70.
You’ll never find a better role model than that.

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