Courage: (noun) 1.) Having the ability to do something that frightens one; 2.) Strength in the face of pain or grief; 3.) Bravery 4.) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain without fear.
As a child growing up I was always taught to have courage. Walking into a new school on my first day of kindergarten clawing to my mom’s pant leg, she stooped down and whispered in my ear to be the big girl she knew I was and have courage. As I got older, courage took on a different look when I stood up to a bully in the middle of my high school courtyard. Then as a young adult, addressing 500+ people at my dad’s memorial service with shaking hands and a heavy heart, that little word kept popping up…..be courageous, people are expecting it from you. But is it that simple? In the face of fear, uncertainty and pain are you courageous or do you let it cripple you?
For most, the answer to that question is to let it overcome. Play the victim, wallow in the sorrow of “why me” or worse just pretend it’s not happening. For my dear friend Tracy, there was no question in her mind. She chose courage. Bravery. Grace. Bad-ass-ness. This woman has nerves of steel and more courage in her pinky finger than most of us have in total. When faced with a crippling life situation, this amazing mom, business woman, leader and awesome friend met it head on with humor, humility, grace, love and a desire to show courage so other woman may do the same.
In this situation, her courage took on the colors of blue and purple. Two little bottles of $15 color that represent so much more than just a fun new hairdo. They represent all women faced with the challenge of losing their hair. The fear of choosing between shaving it or letting it fall out naturally. The fear of no longer fitting the mold of what society sees as beautiful and having people look at you and know there is something wrong. The fear of fighting for your life. The fear of what your son or daughter is feeling and how scary the uncertain future must look to your husband.
I write this with such pride in my heart because this woman is fighting against that fear, not only for herself, but for all women who face a situation like this. She decided that it was her life and her destiny. She is choosing NOT to be the victim and to show courage in the face of adversity. Instead of hiding, this amazing woman let her daughter shave her head AND color it how she wanted. We were able to capture this moment to prove that she is bigger than that dreaded C word that torments so many women. She shows so much courage because it may affect just one other person….in a way that may save their life as well.
Tracy my sweet friend, you are so loved. Thank you for being such a rock in the face of adversity. A light in the room. Someone who can do so much good. I personally have never had to battle for my life, but if I ever do I hope to take a page from your book. In your own words, “surround yourself with amazing people and amazing things will happen.” You embody that. Keep smiling, keep fighting and keep being the bad ass mom, wife, business woman, entrepreneur and c word SURVIVOR that you are. Thank you for letting me join you on this journey and capture these incredibly powerful, heartfelt and inspirational moments. You are such a joy.
With love and a hopeful heart,