Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Courage

Today's gift is courage.

This morning I went to a memorial service for a friend who helped me plan the catering portion of our last three big fundraisers for Rett Syndrome.  In the last three years, we not only talked about food and beverages or placement of tables, but about our families, our children and we learned about each other.   She was a genuine person, one you will never forget, one who is honest and caring.

On March 7th she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she lost her fight with cancer last Friday (September 7th).  As I was listening to all the amazing and uplifting stories today about her courage during the last 7 months, I realized this was my gift today.

What is courage?  Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.  Having a daughter with special needs has made me have courage and I honestly do not know if I would have it, if it wasn't for her.  Weekly, monthly, yearly I have difficult situations and challenges I have to face without fear....to be there for my daughter and to be there for my other two children.  The strength I have gained from being a "special needs mom" has allowed me to become who I am today....it has allowed me to speak from the heart....it has allowed me to advocate not only for my own daughter, but others living with Rett Syndrome...it has allowed me to share my story with others.

Don't think I am never afraid, I do feel fearful sometimes, like when I think about the future for instance (thought about it today in the memorial service).  What if something happened to me?  Or my husband? or both of us?  How will this affect our family?  Will my daughter understand?  Without a doubt I still have fears.  But when I am faced with a difficult situation or when my daughter is in pain I face those challenges without fear.....for her.  I want to be strong for her, so she knows everything is going to be okay.  I do not want her to think something is wrong or to show my fear to her as she reads our body language extremely well.  And when your child is already anxious, the last thing they need is more fear.

I wish daily my daughter didn't have Rett Syndrome and I pray daily there is a cure or treatment...in her lifetime.  But through this "Rett Adventure" I have learned so much about life and I will be forever grateful for all the daily gifts she is giving to me.  She has shown me how to be strong and move on.  She has taught me to keep my head high and to not look back.  She has shown me how to be brave, when I want to cry.  With all she has given to me, I am better prepared to be there by her side when she faces a difficult situation, when she is in pain or when she is sick....without fear.  There is someone else who would love to do my worrying for me and I will let them, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take" Proverbs 3:5-6

Here are some quotes for today....

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid.  Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears.  We are able to say, "I have fallen, but I will get up"- Maya Angelou

Courage is not having the strength to go on, its going on when you don't have the strength- Author Unknown

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are- e.e. cummings





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