A little girl at the young age of 9 learned how to apply the words "It isn't for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security," by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Lindbergh spoke as if she went through an event and had to find the courage to get back up again and keep moving forward. We all need this courage when our lives do not turn out as planned. That little 9-year-old was me.
As my birthday was getting closer, I acted just like other children, excited and happy. It all happened in a flash. My birthday party was planned and canceled. I learned that my grandfather was in the hospital that night. Family members came in, and we spent the day sitting all side by side as the clock went around. None of us knew that it would be my Papah's day to meet God, his Father in heaven.
All the children lined up and not really knowing what was going on, that courage needed to come in place on this very day. The parents all got an idea to loosen us up. It worked like a charm. We all ate cake for my birthday and celebrated, not knowing he was taking his last few breaths on this Earth.
A few hours after my hospital birthday and everything was going great, my father brought in the news that he had passed. I could not believe it at first. He was just here and now "poof," he was gone, out of reach. That little 9-year-old was crushed, along with her family. My whole world came crashing down in front of my face. That's when I learned I needed courage from God. The kind that picks me up when all else fails.
I finally realized what that news really meant; I climbed straight into my aunt's lap screaming. It meant that my dearest family member was gone forever and I had no choice but to accept it. Many people knew my Papah. He was best known as the announcer at the Thomson High football games. My grandfather was greatly missed after that night.
That courage had to bring me back on top. As my family, cousins and I walked onto the football field Friday night, I got a rush. This rush was learning that he would still be in my heart from the day of April 24, 2004, until I get to heaven with him.
As I went through that time, the courage is all that held me together. My biggest question was why me? I will never know the answer to that question, but I know courage will pull me through.
Now I am 15 years old, and I finally got through it all. I can have birthdays and not have sorrow. The courage was always there. As it got to August 2010, I had to remember the courage I needed. We walked into the hospital with my dad. Those words I will never forget, "He has cancer." Again the question came to mind: why me? I fought this question with the answer courage. I used that courage I had learned with the event of my Papah's death. I thought I would never get through his death and now my dad's cancer.
This was all news to me, but when I thought about it, I always remembered the courage. The same courage that helped with death is now helping me with cancer. This disease is not going to win over my life. I was going to learn to stay on top.
As of Oct. 7, 2010, my dad has been through the first round of chemotherapy and radiation. He has gone to work and has not missed a softball game. These days I spend with him knowing that courage will get me through. That courage has been a great advantage in my life. I get through misunderstandings, and hard times, but if I can not take it, I know my courage can.