Last weekend, our Dad was rushed into the ICU, not for the first time. Two of my dearest college friends came to support me, also not for the first time.
“Bow, how is Brave Tutu going?” Amanda asked.
“Struggling. It’s hard to pump out positive, uplifting articles when my heart is feeling so low.”
“Bow, I don’t think Brave Tutu has to always be happy…”
“You’re right.” I cut her off, almost defensive. “I’ve written ones that aren’t. I’ve started about four different drafts and I just can’t seem to finish them.”
When I couldn’t sleep that night, I continued our conversation in my mind. I thought about my nickname, Brave Tutu, and my dad. “Bow” is short for “Bow Bekah.” In college I always had a ribbon in my hair. With the help of friends, I created a hair ribbon ministry and aimed to internationally spread simple beauty.
Similarly, Brave Tutu seeks to share beauty. I want to write words that inspire, even if they are propelled by pain. I looked back through the last six months of “taking courage in delight,” and not all of those posts are full of fairy dust and glitter. I pride myself on bravely and authentically sharing with y’all. With that, I realized my current “hold up” was in the resolution. Each of my articles, thus far, has found a way to be “tied up” with a ribbon. The endings offer forward thinking and hope.
At times, I lack these insights when it comes to my Father’s situation. I’ve politely asked my friends not to say “everything is going to be okay” because those words feel like a pillow case with no pillow. When I was nine, one surgeon used screws unapproved by the FDA and caused permanent nerve damage for my Dad. This, along with two other failed back surgeries, catalyzed an endless cycle of health struggles. See, I don’t remember a time in my life when my father was not in pain.
In the midst of last weekend’s tears and worry over my father, there were plenty of significant spots of sparkle. My nephew, Austin, had his first T-Ball game and 4th birthday party a.k.a chaotic-cuteness overload. At the game, one kid came out from the dugout just to give everyone on the field hugs. Another girl named Scarlett sported sparkly pink high tops with her jersey. Austin slammed his first home run a.k.a. he just kept running the bases and no one could stop him. At his party, his friends greeted each other with hugs and his best buddy Roman wanted to be SURE Austin tried the ice cream.
As evidenced with 4-year-old joy, even in the depths of true sadness, there is no deficit of small moments that matter. I realized, unlike my college name, all pieces cannot be tied up with a bow. I put my Brave Tutu on when I share this un-ribboned resolution. My Dad is out of the hospital. He is under good care. I don’t want to offer more than those facts. However, I welcome your comments and prayers. I need you to share your Brave Tutu moments with us (now possible on Instagram: Your Brave Tutu). Do you have times you’ve courageously resolved not to push resolve? How do you honor significant moments amidst hardship?
I will seek the sparkle, like Scarlett's shoes, sometimes just for sparkle’s sake. Even when delight doesn’t erase pain, it certainly contains strength. With no discredit to grief and sadness, I aim to claim that power when possible. Will you join me?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)