Bad, baffled, bashful, beat, beautiful, belittled,
betrayed, belligerent, bereaved, bewildered,
bitter, blissful, blue, boastful, bold, bored, bossy,
bothered, BRAVE, bright, brilliant, bummed, burdened, burnt out
Be brave. Okay, but what is brave? The dictionary says brave means “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” Soldiers are brave, they choose to go fight for our freedom. In many ways they are the epitome of bravery.
There are people who are brave every day, not to fight for anyone’s freedom but just because they have to be. My niece and her husband are prime examples of this. They are the ones who show true courage, who face their pain and the fight for their son’s survival head on. Their son is 15 months old and has been battling cancer for the past five months. Every day I see posts where people talk about how brave and courageous he is. “He’s such a brave little boy to fight the way he is, to not let the fact he has cancer beat him down.” Fact is, he isn’t brave at all, his parents are the brave ones. He has no idea he’s sick, he doesn’t feel sick. He doesn’t know he’s different from any other little boy or girl. He doesn’t see the scar across his head or the way people look at him, some with sadness others with pity. He is just being himself, a little boy who likes to laugh and play and have fun.
My niece is the one who stays up all night worrying, crying, praying for some miracle to keep her son alive. She is the one who has to clean up the mess my nephew makes when he gets sick after a round of chemo without actually touching any of it herself. It’s toxic crap that she is not allowed to touch, yet it is what is being pumped through her son’s body to make him better. Crazy. I couldn’t imagine. She does it though. She does it all with a smile on her face for her two little men and she tells them that everything is going to be okay. Not only does she tell them that but she fights to make sure that it is. She is the bravest person I know.
I couldn’t imagine having to go through what she is without curling up into a little ball and rocking back and forth hoping it all goes away. I don’t know that I would be brave enough. I’ve stood between two grown men to stop them from beating the shit out of each other. I’ve stood up to a man who raised his hand to me. I’ve told a boss that I would not do what he asked of me because it was against my morals. I ask questions others are to afraid to ask. But, with something as big as what they are dealing with I fear my depression would overtake my bravery, that I wouldn’t be able to stop it.
Being brave doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid, it means that you are but you do it anyway.