Search

red clay ponderings

Hmmm… what shall I ponder on today?

Month

June 2015

I Wanna See You Be Brave

woman ocean (2)

This morning, my childhood friend Becky posted a Sara Bareilles song on Facebook: Brave. And it triggered a memory of Becky’s mother.

Many years ago, after becoming engaged, I visited the mom of my friends Mike, Bobby and Becky Bruce-West. By that time, I had known Mrs. Bruce many years; since I was ten or eleven years old. She was like a second mom to me, and she really was a second mom to my cousin, Pam Bruce, who had become her daughter-in-law. As much as I loved Mrs. Bruce, I had only been in sporadic contact with her over the last several years. College took me out of town, then working and living in the Atlanta area kept me away. Pam and Mike were married and living in other parts of the world, Becky was married and living in Florida. The reasons for me to visit the Bruce home had grown up and moved on.

But once I was betrothed, I had a strong need to see her. I called and asked if I could come visit for an afternoon. She laughed. “Of course you can come see me! Anytime!”.

We caught up and laughed about old times. Then, in her sweet, aging voice, she asked: “Well Danita Clark, what will your new name be?”

“Able”, I said.

“Able”, she paused, and her blue eyes lit up like sparklers. “I can’t think of a more perfect name for you. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been one of the most able people I’ve ever known. Brave, too.”

Hearing her words, I was overjoyed, because Mrs. Bruce wasn’t one to spout empty accolades. I also felt like an impostor. She had no way of knowing, but already, the little girl Mrs. B had known as able and brave, had become a young woman stripped of bravery.

When did that happen? Where did I leave the bravery? When? I’m not fully certain, but I think I know. I believe I left little pieces of bravery and able-ness on the ground around me, under my feet. Anytime I felt inadequate, I gave away bravery. No one took it from me. I handed it over, let it slip from my hands and hit the red clay, where it sank deep and became buried.

Unwittingly, as my friend Teresa recently said, I had set myself up to marry a man who didn’t value me. After I married him, I became less able, less brave. For twenty-four years, I had no bravery.
All that changed six years ago, come this July.

Glory to God, I survived.
And with a lot of help from Him, many good friends, some vagabond travels, family, and a new Rodan+Fields business, I have been ‘able’ to recover my bravery.

The insecurity, uncertainty and no-bravery, is now nothing more than an oily, greasy mark in the middle of the road. It sort of looks like an old, empty can of Crisco.

Let Me Know If You Need Anything

  
We say it to our friends, family and mere acquaintances when they’re going through the valley times of life. With Facebook, I read those words everyday. Just this morning, two different people I know posted of deaths in their immediate family. Their Timelines were filled, one after the other, with friends offering condolences followed by: “Let me know if you need anything”. 

I resisted the urge to reply to each consoling comment….They need something. But they’re not going to ask for your help.  
Recently, my cousin’s mom died, unexpectedly. A few weeks later, her husband lost his battle with cancer…(but he went out fighting like a champion). In the middle of these tragic life events, Denise was also planning and preparing for some of life’s most celebrated moments: Her daughter’s wedding and her son’s graduation from high school; his registration for freshman year of college. 

She needed things. She needed something. I know she did. But she never asked. 

I’m guilty of saying to her, “Let me know if you need anything.” She said she would, but she didn’t. And I understand. I wouldn’t have asked or told either. It’s difficult for me to ask for help. I think it must be for most of us. It isn’t a matter of not being able to admit we need help; no, we simply don’t want to inconvenience others. 

Not long ago, someone I know became a widower. He and his wife attended a large church, they had been members of the church for several years. When she died I went to the funeral home, expecting a large crowd from their church. But the church crowd was missing. One couple from their church had visited, they brought a cake or a pie. Except for the pastor, no one from their church attended the funeral. A few weeks later, the widower, elderly and now living alone, announced in church he would have surgery the upcoming week. No one brought him meals. Yet many, during his wife’s death and before his surgery, had said, “Let me know if you need anything”. 

We feel better when we speak words of comfort to the hurting; we beseech the grieving to call us in their time of need. Who are we? A loved one is in the middle of a raging storm and we ask them to call us? 

May I suggest we change our approach? People appreciate our sympathetic comments and good intentions. But really, what good are intentions if not followed by actions? If someone you know is going through a difficult time, just know they need your help, and do something to ease their stress. 

Accidents, illness, tragedy and death don’t come calling when we have everything in order, shiny and spiffed up. They come in the middle of the night, when your laundry basket is full and your grass needs mowing; death knocks when your cupboards and fridge are empty, and your floors need to be swept, when clothes need to picked up from the cleaners; when children need to be fed. 

Moving forward, when life happens to my friends and family, I’m doing what I’ve watched my friends Rich and Angie Alexandersen and TC Chassay Zimmerman and an anonymous family member do numerous times. Show up. I have never heard them say, “Let me know if you need anything”.  Instead, they understand that you will need something, and then they show up. Whether anyone asked or not. 

**I’m very fortunate, I have several family and friends that Show Up in my life. I’ve learned so much about friendship, family, love and the real Church from them. **

Let’s all Show Up today. 

Danita

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: