Friday, April 19, 2013

a certain kind of brave

It's like that, when you're describing the unacceptable occurrences.  Things that don't happen to you.  Things that happen to the people that you know through other people.  The terrible swimming accidents.  The children taken from the back seat of their car.  The mothers who wander off the road and are never heard from again.  You hear the story and you think of the survivors, and you find yourself murmuring, "I don't know how they do it.  I don't know how they carry on.  I'm not that kind of brave."

This should be a letter to two women whom I love.  Two women who don't know each other, but have graced my life with their humor and strength and wisdom.  Both of them mothers, struggling with things that surpass my comprehension.  They are the certain kind of brave that defies my ability.  So much so that I have stilled myself into silence, thinking--- I am not that kind of brave, not that kind of warrior who can look grief and pain and the yawning void of loss in the face and still make pancakes in the morning.

If it was me, I'd not be making pancakes for a year.  Or several. 

But these dear women, they know that there are little ones counting on their consistency.  Looking forward to the pancakes even if the batter is salted with tears.

When I don't know what to do, I think of a certain kind of brave and hope for a kernel of it in myself, something that will germinate and grow inside of me so that I can face my challenges with the grace I've seen in others.