I’ve been thinking a lot about Dirty Girl Scouts! Not actual Girl Scouts but the shot, Dirty Girl Scout. A Dirty Girl Scout is vodka, Kahlua® coffee liqueur, Bailey’s® Irish cream and white creme de menthe. They are delicious! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. They used to be my favorite shot. I was introduced to them by a friend and his wife. 2010 was the year of Dirty Girl Scouts and was a Summer I will never forget. We had a lot of good times.
Sadly, the man who introduced me to my first Dirty Girl Scout and then bought me many more after that is now seriously ill. He’s been battling a disabling disease that is slowly taking his life. He was diagnosed in 2011. So, I suppose I am bit melancholy and sad. I am thinking about how a man at the prime of this life, physically fit and with a thriving business could be struck down so quickly. It makes me sad. It also makes me think about how much life has changed in these three years and how the heroes in my life have redefined bravery and courage for me.
Heroes aren’t on a football field, baseball diamond, hockey rink or basketball court. They are living every day normal lives until one day life forces them to be brave. Heroes aren’t celebrities or reality TV stars. They star in the reality of their life when all the laughter falls away. Heroes are fully present in the soberness of their life. They live with the awareness of the fragility of their life every day. A hero is brave and courageous.
Bravery sometimes isn’t even a conscious choice for some people. It’s just what they do. Bravery is my friend who is fighting Cancer choosing to have her head shaved yesterday instead of waiting for her hair to fall out. She took back control and lost her hair her own way. Bravery is my Mother. She was a waitress and widowed at 36 years old with five kids. Somehow she kept a roof over our heads, put us all through Catholic schools and taught us the importance of a strong family bond. Bravery is my friend who is battling Multiple Symptom Atrophy. His body changes every day but he still continues on. Bravery is my sister. She was sick for very long time with a debilitating disease but she never gave up. Even in her last days while on Life Support she still wouldn’t let go until her sister held her hand and told her it was ok to let go. It was ok to let her pain end.
Brave people are rich. They are rich in spirit. Their wealth isn’t found in a $500K home that has a pond in the back yard. Their wealth isn’t in their bank account. Their wealth isn’t in their 401k. Their wealth is in their spirit and how they choose to face adversity in their life. Brave people know adversity will come into their lives but they don’t let it define them. Brave people know you have to get up and take care of business in the morning no matter how tough the night before may have been.
Brave people know what’s important. They don’t get caught up in trivial nonsense. They know life isn’t always a party or a good time. They understand the seriousness of life and look at it head on without having to go to happy hour first. Brave people stand in the center of the storm. They may get blown around. They even may get knocked down. But, they somehow find the strength to get back up.
Brave people are strong. They don’t need a crowd of people to surround them. They have the strength to stand alone. They don’t numb themselves to hide from reality. They live in the reality of their life. They see it for all it’s worth. They understand how much they lost. They accept the changes that have happened and they adapt to their new reality.
Brave everyday people are my heroes. At this time of my life I find it more important than ever to surround myself with brave people who can show me the way on those hard days. It’s not easy to let go of everything I held on to so tightly and chose to live a new life. But, the brave people in my life give me hope that I too can have their courage. I too can choose to be brave.
While I woke up sad and reminiscing about the good ‘ole days, I am realizing that God called me to be brave. God called me to live a different life and have courage. So, today I am taking a page from the books of my heroes and walking the new path God put me on with courage. Remembering bravery happens in the choices we make every day. Today I choose to be brave.
(C) 2013 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Pedro Salinas and Jean Delville ~ L’Invito