Thursday, 13 September 2012
This is a repost for National Childhood Cancer Day.
As I read people's blogs on Xanga, talk to friends in real life (I really have them, I swear!) and talked to my daughter on the phone, I cannot help but think about courage, and how so many don't understand what that is. Courage is not the lack of fear, but being afraid and doing it anyway.
I just read a charming young man's post about asking out a girl he likes (and has for sometime) to discover she isn't available. That took a lot of courage. My daughter made the decision to remain in her job and work through her issues with her co-workers rather than give up and finding a new job. That is courage. My girlfriend gave up her job of 10 years to start her own company. Another friend can finally let other people see her body after By Pass surgery. I see courage everyday.
Courage is often associated with picking yourself up and trying again. This is courageous, yes, but not the only form of courage. Sometimes courage is letting go of the fight and embracing the unknown.
I had a little girl named Amber that I lost to cancer. She had courage everyday. Courage to keep smiling during medical procedure. Courage to play with her friends despite her bald head. Courage to say "no" to procedures that she had a reason to. Her first surgery she had a spinal tap for pain management afterwards. She hated that, it made her uncomfortable and scared though it managed the pain. Though she was very young, she knew that she had a voice in her own treatment. For remaining surgeries (she had 4 more bilateral thoracotamies, very painful) she chose iv pain management which wasn't as effective so she wasn't trapped and afraid. She always had a good attitude, never complained about her quality of life or treatments, and was brave in all of her dealings with the world. When she died, she made the decision to not have another surgery. Of course I wouldn't let her make this choice, and I tried to explain that she needed it even if she didn't want it. She told me that not everyone that has cancer lives, and she didn't want to do it. She died less than a week before she was scheduled. I am not a mystical person, but I knew she had decided to die, or at least come to terms with it, when she tried to comfort and warn me. She knew something I didn't, had a peace with something foreign to me, and made the decision. She had courage to face death while I was fighting tooth and nail. She had courage when I did not.
During her life, she lived with little fear. She had crushes on cute residents, and let them know. She had friends and never hid because of her hair. She rode her bike, swam in the deep end, made commercials and loved any excuse to be in the spotlight. She was brave, she lived with little fear, and she was courageous in a way I can only hope to be.
Learn a lesson from her. Invite people over to dinner even if your house isn't perfect. Don't wait for the economy to get better before you start chasing your dreams. Ask that girl out, even if she says no. We don't have much time, try not to blow it.