The other week my neighbor friend needed me to watch her three daughters as her job scheduled a mandatory job training without notice. For five days. Three states away. Her husband, a federal officer himself, was in the middle of his own four month job training on the other side of the country. I raised my kids alone for 20 years, working for Customs; I could feel her anguish. Although her single parent capacity was at a two month midpoint, I know she needed the break. Plain and simple. Job training, for her, came at a much needed moment. Of course I could come and help out, she lives just down the street. Then, her husband called me in a panic after his wife left; he had a loaded weapon for home protection that now needed securing. I told him not to worry, he had the BEST person as Responsible Adult in his home. Naturally, I had a selection of boxes in which to secure his weapon. I located the firearm, knew where the kids were in the house, pointed the gun in a safe direction, dropped the magazine, locked the slide to the rear, secured the weapon in my box and stored it in the bedroom that would be mine for the week. I reflect upon my shooting career and how it could not have advanced as it did were it not for the families who took in my kids for the long weekends I traveled for competitions. Getting to help out this family, for all the chaos of stepping into someone else’s home, for all the disruption to my own plans, undoubtedly presented itself as a gift not to them, but to me. I enjoyed a remarkable competitive shooting career and I can only hope the mom and the dad of this family will enjoy professional advancement with their training sessions. Paying back is a gift, it reminds me of what I accomplished only because of all the others who put up with my chaos!