“Brave Tutu, huh? What’s the story there?” I love this question and answer in many different ways, but for now let’s stay true to the mission and share “the moment” I dreamt up the name and concept of this site. This moment was on a porch with a pup. With LuLu by my side, I journaled about bravery, twirling, whimsy, belief in life’s small moments and more. For a week in 2015, my sole job was to look after LuLu and her detailed napping and eating schedule. Other than that, I was free to dream, drink coffee and plan out my writing steps. Julie and Allen Harvey, two of my favorite people, gave me the moment to “create Brave Tutu”— the space to dream, delight and take powerful steps forward. Here are other supportive examples:
After undergrad, I auditioned for the reality show “An American Princess.” Julie’s response wasn’t “Aren’t you going to look for a real job?” Nope. I remember her saying, “Well, Bekah, you’re perfect. How do we get you on that show?”
When I got my first out-of-college dream job for Carnival Cruise lines, Julie didn’t hesitate. She said, “We need to go shopping.” Julie sat in Midland’s Boutique with me for hours as I modeled evening gowns and jewelry. Ultimately, I decided to purchase a couple of dresses. No surprise that the majority of what I tried on was gifted to me at the “Bon Voyage” party Julie threw, complete with a professionally decorated cruise ship cake. Julie LOVED parties and she LOVED giving special cakes.
When I decided to move to Virginia, go to grad school and pursue writing, Julie listened to my story ideas with, “Oh Bekah, you are going to be an amazing author.”
Last week, Julie, or Queen Julia as I call her, lost her fierce battle with pancreatic cancer. A sweet friend of hers wrote on her wall—"Something hit me today at Julie's service. I realized that it wasn't only me who she made feel so special. She made EVERYONE feel as if they were the center of her happiness.”
She made us all feel intensely valued, unique and loved. I do not question Julie’s belief in me. Across the table at our catch-up-lunches at Murray’s, I can still see that in her eyes, I’m capable of anything. I aim to live that out.
The Harvey’s patio with their pup, the birthplace of Brave Tutu, is truly a metaphor for the space Julie provided for me to “sparkle” and share my gifts with the world. I know her soul-celebration cultivated a more authentic me that extends to my dreaming and career. I wouldn’t be the confident writer who savors life’s shimmer without Julie’s powerful support.
Like clockwork, I’ve received Julie’s “Birthday Mascara” every November. Many non-birthday months, she sent packages with lip glosses, special purses, gift cards to Rosa’s Tortilla Factory (all adorned in tulle ribbons from her, no joke, ribbon closet!)—really anything that Julie thought I might want or need. Her notes often read simply, “Princess Bekah, You Sparkle.”
Julie, I hope I do sparkle and claim the power of your gracious generosity. Here are to the endless moments you created contagious SPARKLE. My quest is to help make at least one person feel as special as I feel to you.
Everyone, as we enter this week of gratitude, I wonder who has inspired the true “Sparkle” in you. Who has given you a “patio” of space in your life to become the truest you? And how can you aim to share that you with others?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)
-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.