I decided to take a leave of absence from my teaching career - my calling and passion. It was becoming toxic for me. Too many things that just tore me up and caused so much anger, and I needed to step away. After participating in the IF: conference, my dear friends gave me a COURAGE Giving Key, and I wore it daily. It became a touchstone for me. I felt myself getting stronger in many ways. I gained the courage to speak up, step away, move toward, and listen.
One weekend, I was in Chicago with my mom and sisters celebrating our mom's 70th birthday. Our youngest sister lost her husband after recovered from H1N1 in January, something that surprised and affected us all. They had two children, including a three-year-old. My sister is struggling for many reasons, and I admire her determination to carry on. I don't know how she does it.
But...she's afraid. Who would blame her? Life took her healthy husband and mistakes by the hospital caused his death. She is a widow at 42, raising her sons alone. She can do it, but she shouldn't have to. I don't want her to be afraid. I want her to love life.
In the hotel room in Chicago, I realized she needed the key more than I did. I told her so as I removed it from my neck and placed it around hers. COURAGE, it says. I love you, my sister. Have courage.
September 15, 2014