I am alone in the basement of the Cousteau Society office. It is the end of the workday and everyone is gone. A squeak from the floor reminds me I am not actually alone. I look fondly at the portable playpen beside my desk. Stetcyn, my four-month-old daughter, is awake from her nap. She gurgles at me so I reach down, pick up my baby girl, and offer her a bottle of warm soymilk. While she works the rubber nipple, I realize I must leave now or be late picking up Cindy from the physical therapy office where she works.
With the sadness of a put-off-decision made, I place Stetcyn into her car seat on my desk and tuck a fuzzy blanket about her. Then I fold up the portable crib and carry it out to my Ford Explorer. I have already packed my personal items, mostly remembrances from various expeditions. I return to the basement office to pick up my now-cooing daughter, and place my keys to the office on the desk, then carry Stetcyn out the door. I turn to watch the basement door automatically close and audibly lock. I stare blankly at it for several seconds then carry my baby girl out to the car and get inside. I glance once more at the closed office door then slowly drive away.
After five-and-a-half wonderful years, I am leaving the Cousteau Society. I have chosen to walk a new path. I will be a full-time husband to Cindy and a father to our daughter. I also have a promise to Judge Takasugi to honor regarding talking with youths about choices and drugs. Most of all I have a private commitment to God to do His work.
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