My mom is the strongest, most courageous woman I know. When she was 18 she left home and joined the Navy during the Vietnam war. Stationed state-side, she met my dad as he returned from war. When she discovered she was pregnant with me, she courageously married him and moved to a place she never felt welcome.
16 years later, she courageously divorce him because his alcoholism was too great a burden and she needed to do something to save herself (and me).
In 1991, as a member of the US Army Reserves, she was called to active duty and sent to Desert Storm. Courageously, she went. She was 43 years old.
She had been home less than a year and stepped in a gopher hole in a field, at night, in the Montana freezing winter. She shattered her left ankle and courageously crawled for almost a mile to get help. All five reconstructive surgeries failed and she has lived with varying degrees of constant pain for over 20 years....courageously.
On Wednesday she will courageously have an elective surgery to amputate her left foot and leg below the knee and begin the road to recovery, getting a prosthetic leg and learning to walk again... eventually without a limp.
She is my example of courage every day. When I received the giving key from MOPS, with instructions to give it away, I knew she'd be the recipient. I will give it to her on Wednesday right before surgery. I know she will feel scared and uncertain. The key will remind her that she really is a courageous woman, mother, and, now, grandmother, too.