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by Teri Norsworthy
While thinking of Bravery this past Memorial Day, I am remembering the many lives spent on maintaining the freedom of our wonderful country. I have not personally experienced losing a close family member to war so I can’t say I understand the burden and loss one feels when that happens. Then I wondered who the brave one is? The one that gave their life or the one that has to go on facing life here and finding a new way of living.
I have been married to John about thirty-eight years. We have become so close to one another that we often find ourselves thinking and saying the same thing at the same time. We have always worked together in unison without any struggle. But when tragedy strikes, the strong façade I project most of the time turns to mush. I have never handled sudden emergencies well.
In January of 2000, John experienced a Brain Aneurysm that brought him very close to death. We had to wait ten days for the blood to be absorbed back into his body before the doctors could go in to clamp the leaking artery.
No bravery on my part, I was scared breathless. Not John. He simply took one day at the time believing everything would be ok. I shall never forget the morning they came to take him into surgery.
We had already prayed for everyone and everything that might go on in the operating room when they transferred him to the gurney. I did not want him to worry about me. My heart was up in my throat and it was all I could do to hold back the flood gate of tears. I witnessed true bravery at that moment. He kissed me goodbye, looked me straight in the eyes and said "I will either see you in here after this, Honey, or be waiting for you in heaven.” No, fear what so ever! Secure in his relationship with the God of all creation. His confidence exhibited true bravery. Not me, I fell apart as they took him down the long hallway. I rolled up in a little ball in his now-abandoned hospital bed preparing for the long unknown of surgery. It is strange; I experienced the sad emotion of that occurrence as I put these words to paper.
That was the first health threat of seven operations he has bravely endured. Three of them were life-threatening. He seems to have a high pain tolerance and confronts them face on without fear. Not me, I don’t handle pain well. A mere hangnail puts me into a tailspin. When I experienced a torn meniscus a while back, I was sure the discomfort would last forever. Oh, ye of little faith. On the other hand, John is sure he will overcome everything just as he has in the past. With the attitude of "this too shall pass". To me, that exhibited true courage and bravery.
The best example of BRAVERY in my life has been watching him as he faced all those obstacles. Moreover, he has managed to maintain a good outlook on the life that’s been dealt him. I am so grateful to be married to someone with such a strong foundation in the Lord. I believe that’s the only way one can be brave in the inevitable face of death.