|Dad enjoying a Lobster Boil|
It has been a few weeks since I participated in Finish the Sentence Friday, and I thought it was about time I jumped back in. Then I saw the question for this week ("The bravest thing I've ever done...") and was totally thrown off. Brave, me? What have I ever done that would be considered brave? It's all so subjective. When you think about it, bravery can mean different things at different ages and times in your life.
I mean seriously, I've never been in the position of rescuing someone from a burning building or shark attack, so what have I done that was brave? I can confidently repeat Candyman, Bloody Mary, or Beetlejuice five times. [I know at least one of you just shivered!]
I guess as a kid, you could count standing up to bullies when I encountered them unleashing on someone, or defending someone being wrongfully accused of something, even though that meant going against a whole system because it was the right thing to do, regardless of the fact that the person in question had done countless other despicable things and wasn't someone I particularly wanted to stick my neck out for. Or maybe it was on those occasions when I chose to go against the crowd and not do something because I knew it was wrong – on a few occasions, others followed suit and told me they had been afraid to step away on their own, but my doing it made it OK for them.
Maybe we're talking about physical bravery, like stepping up to put the person who pulled a knife on and threatened a friend in their place, even though that could have put me in danger.
Or maybe were talking about a different kind of bravery, like taking on the challenge of facing a personal fear or doing something outside your comfort zone. How about watching six kids for a week to give their folks a break when that entailed four still in diapers (including an infant), and all were under the age of 8, knowing full well that it had always taken at least two people to manage them all. Or how about a series of mix-ups putting you and those same six kids, along with two others in the same age bracket, in the middle of the local county fair and not losing your mind…or a kid! I managed to keep everyone together and alive, but after their respective parents and other adults arrived, they managed to lose one!
Maybe it was listening to my gut instinct that time at a party as a kid when I knew something just wasn't right and managed to shove my way past those older guys and drag out the girl they had pinned and cowering in a corner of the bathroom.
Then it dawned on me. The bravest thing I have ever done by far was an act of love and compassion, even though it broke my heart. It was making the decision to terminate life support for my father and sitting with him until he passed back in 2007. I can only hope that, should the circumstances arise, someone will be brave enough to do the same for me someday. I love you Dad!
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Janine ~ http://www.janinehuldie.com