Mentor text: Courage by Bernard Waber

I have found it takes courage to share some of the hardest lessons of life.  Sometimes when we feel the smallest, the weakest, and the loneliest. . . we’ll find courage from others that have gone through the same things. When you share stories that mean a lot (that touch our hearts). . . the other person will feel special.  At least, I hope that is the case.

Sharing my stories has been fun. Stories growing up on the farm, being the middle child, or surviving life’s battles are the things that many people can relate too.  Stories of what my students have taught me,  grandsons’ escapades, and my metamorphosis bring me joy and much reflection. . . .I hope these stories will be of some value to you too.

Driving for the first time by yourself. . . that takes courage. I remember Mom needing some groceries and sent me to get them. . . the store was just a mile or so away. I pulled out of the garage, out the drive, down the road and stopped at the sign.  What is the world was I doing?  I could kill someone in this car.  Sweat poured!  I sat there until courage had filled my heart, and went on. Mission accomplished and the next trip was much easier.

It took courage for my husband when he went to sign up for the Air Force!  He was the oldest of five boys.  His dad was in the World War II in the Army, and had taken him to the recruiting center. . . it took courage to take the tests and wonder if he really wanted in or hoping for deferment.  . . .three men before him failed. . . he passed.  It took courage and prayers to deal with service life . . .being in hostile territory, a LONG way from his family’s little farm.

As a young mother of a four and seven year olds, it took courage and lots of prayers to take my husband miles to the hospital for surgeries, treatment, check ups. . . staying one night with him, and back to the girls the next night.  It took courage to try and make decisions that were hard when so scared.

Moving out of the house for the first time takes courage. . . .it was tough for Kim. She had an apartment at the edge of the university where she worked. We nudged her to do that at twenty-five ish.  I think she stayed here the first week. . . it took courage and she realized she could do it.  Kris on the other hand, seemed ready to jump out and prove she could be on her own. . . I think if we really knew the truth, she was just as apprehensive.  I remember Mom and Dad taking me to college and being all positive about it. . . until we hugged and they turned to leave. I turned to go back inside and thought. . . “God what am I doing?  I am not ready for this!”  But I was. . . .COURAGE!!!

.AJ had courage the first time he jumped off the higher diving board. . .he walked to the end and walked back. He did that a few times. I wasn’t sure he was going to accomplish the task. Finally he just ran and jumped.  He came bouncing up from the water with a huge smile and thumbs up.  He did that over and over and over again.

Brock has courage whenever he goes to the concession stand without Mom. . .the first was tricky. . . he hesitated. You could tell he wanted someone to go with him, but Mom was intently watching AJ’s game.  I offered. . . “No Nana, I got this.”  He hung around for a bit. Then with courage, he went ahead.  He came back with snack in hand and gave Mom the change.  Many, many times have followed, but it took courage that first time.

It took courage for me to fly the first time. . . My friend asked me to go to Florida with her. I didn’t want to embarrass her . . . so I mustered up all the courage I could. Sat down, went through the emergency drill,  got the headphones ready for music, and prayed.  The take off was smooth. . . the ride was excellent . . . the conversation and laughter helped. It was a short flight. . . and I survived.

I have found everyday brings a lesson that courage is needed.  I need courage every day since Rich passed away to make it through the day with grace and dignity. I promised I would be okay. . . and I am okay.  Every day. . . we are faced with issues and problems that courage to muddle through.. . .we just do the best we can. Courage, love, prayers, help from family and friends . . . all will get us through those life trials if we just have COURAGE!

When did you have courage?



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