**Brave**

photo 6

I’ve always sort of shied away from using the word BRAVE when describing myself.
Brave is reserved for people who zipline through the woods {I’d lose my voice from screaming so long and so loud} : or folks who ride those demon drop rides at amusement parks {I’ve actually had nightmares about having to ride one of those. I. would. die. }

I’m not much of a daredevil nor do I like the feeling of an adrenaline rush.

Last wednesday my sweet Aunt Marguerite died suddenly on her way to our family reunion in West Virginia. Despite the fact that we were planning on putting one of our cars in the body shop {for a much needed repair, thanks to the accident I was in 2 weeks ago} , and regardless of the unfortunate fact that my husband couldn’t take off from work, missing her funeral was not an option. After checking the prices of train and airline tickets which ranged fro $600-$1300, I decided the only way to get there was to drive.

With the help of Sara Bareilles, Michael Jackson, a Jennifer Weiner audiobook, and MaliMusic’s INCREDIBLE new cd, I drove 12.75 hours to Virginia by myself. I weathered the $40 in tolls, winding Pennsylvania roads, D.C. holiday weekend traffic , and only stopped to pee twice.

While sitting around with my mother, aunts, and cousins spanning varied generations; my 2nd cousin Lynn: whom I admire greatly, but had rarely had the opportunity to have much one on one time with; gently rubbed the back of my head and said, “You are a brave girl. What a lovely young woman you have become.”

Because I admire Lynn a great deal {for becoming such a successful lawyer without ever losing sight of what matters most}, and also because WORDS OF AFFIRMATION is my primary love language, I bit gently on my lip to keep from crying.

As I was driving the roadways of Virginia on my return trip home – windows rolled down, hair blowing wildly, and track #9 from “Mali Is” blaring loudly ; I realized that I am in fact brave. Brave is not just to jump from an airplane or to hike a mountain in freezing, life threatening conditions.

To be brave is to make up your mind to do something, and do it no matter what. Because in your heart, you know its the right thing to do.

I think of friends I know that have put their dreams and hopes on pause to allow a loved one to live with them and receive the care needed for the last of their life on this earth.
I think of a relative who stayed with their spouse even after learning of their affair, and standing with them even through the public embarrassment.
I think of Rachel at http://www.thelightlifeblog.com & her family, and their decision to literally alter their lifestyle in order to be together as a family and truly LIVE.

Find an adventure.
Face a fear.
Say something out loud that you’ve never said before.
Take a trip to a place you’ve never been.

Do it.

BE BRAVE.

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