My twin sister and I once went to an Anthony Robbins convention. We’d made it to the final day where he was convincing us to walk over hot coals. (Don’t.)
Not usually risk adverse, it was my twin sister, however, who stepped up to the plate when the time came. I teetered at the edge of proceedings. My thought, apropos of everything, was “What if this doesn’t work and my feet fry?”
So, saying “we” had been brave is a reach.
The other side of feet frying, my sister watched in surprise as I dithered in indecision (read: frozen solid in blind terror).
Then that ‘thing,’ which often pushed me to do the thing I think I cannot do, kicked in. The voice of Bronnie on my shoulder whispering, “You’ve got this.”
Bronnie’s belief in me was legendary.
So, off I went. Petrified.
I sprinted across those taunting red embers.
I told the “Walk don’t run,” piece of advice to go to hell as I charged.
There may have been hollering.
I collapsed the other side, a hot mess of sweltering madness.
Later, I had a cup of coffee with Running Over Hot Coals and we decided to go our separate ways. It was amicable. There was cake.
During my now eight years without Bronnie, I read another feat of courage which has stayed with me. Fellow blogger, Jax Blunt, wrote:
“I keep getting up. Every day. I go on.”
Some days, just getting out of bed is one of the most courageous decisions we can make.
I am often asked “How do you do it?” as though there is a choice, especially when you have children. No, that’s wrong, there is always a choice. It’s just some choices suck when you have children.
But that’s how I have negotiated my life as a widow thus far.
Like running over hot coals, I don’t think, I just go.
I don’t think of all those scary days ahead.
I narrow my focus to a series of moments and go through the door daily pretending to be a whole person. Pretend I have whatever it is Bronnie saw in me to stare down each day and not be the first to blink.
To get over those hot coals whichever way I can.
Some days that’s striding confidently through, like my sister all those years ago – or staggering and hollering my way through.
Either way, it’s momentum.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
– Mary Radmacher