I thought a lot about courage today and what it meant.
The thought was prompted when I got a text from Beth about her day, it was like any normal text but this one caused me to stop and give her a call. I knew her plan today, it was like most days, between the appointments with therapists, the drives to Children’s Hospital, the phone calls to doctors and schools all the while trying to wrangle a two year old. It was like any other day but today Beth had something else on her agenda. Now, it takes a few years of marriage to accurately decipher a text message from your significant other (ProTip, you actually never really figure it out…) and this one was like any other about her day but it ended with, “I am pretty tired today”. I immediately knew she was having a bad day. So, I called and lent her an ear, it was the least I could do knowing what she was up to today.
She was doing something that took a tremendous amount of courage. She had just pulled into the driveway when I called and she was emotional, she had spent her day going from business to business asking for raffle items for our second annual fundraiser to help fight blindness. She told me that she felt like she was fighting to save our daughters vision. She was saying this through tears and let me tell you that it was a gut punch like you would not believe. She spent the day driving around with no fear of rejection and at every stop having to explain how Rebecca would eventually lose her vision if a cure is not found. Simply put, this is not something I have the courage to do. I envy her for her strength and all that she does to ensure that Rebecca has anything and everything that she needs. I envy her for not lashing out at the lack of empathy she faces on a daily basis, for not punching the guy who asks if her daughter is drunk, or the woman that stares at the restaurant, for not losing hope when she sees Rebecca constantly fall in an unfamiliar location, for standing up to the doctors when they told her she was wrong about Rebecca’s diagnosis, for not accepting “good enough” for either of our girls and making sure that they both have everything they need. That’s courage, I see it everyday in her and other parents like her who are on the front lines fighting to do whatever they can to make a difference. I come home and hear about a day that would otherwise have me hiding under a rock but she faces it everyday and everyday more determined then the next. That’s the true meaning of courage.