Facing Your Fears

A bit of a personal post today…

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw last week that I was headed out for a much-anticipated weekend of rest and relaxation on a press trip to the Westin Snowmass—which was amazing, by the way. If you feel like a weekend on the mountain, winter or summer, I can highly recommend the Westin.

They had scheduled us on a bunch of adventures, including white water rafting and mountain biking on Aspen mountain. I’ve gotta tell you, as exciting as all of that sounds, I was pretty nervous.  I have never done either of those things before, and I was pretty scared to try.

But I had pumped myself up.  I was going to do it.  I was going to face my fears and have an adventure!

I drove up to Snowmass on Thursday morning, got there around noon, got my room, and literally as I was walking into it, my mom called.

Dad is back in the hospital.  The leukemia is back.

I went on with my day—there really wasn’t anything else to do. Went downstairs for cocktails, a concert, dinner.  Came back to my room and slept in a big puffy bed with too many pillows.

Friday morning, my mom sent an email with details, and it wasn’t good. I called my husband and asked what he thought I should do.

He said I should go, because the worst that could happen is I’d have an extra visit with my dad.

And I agreed.

So I booked a flight to Dallas for Saturday afternoon.  And then I went and had a massage, and more cocktails, and more food, and felt totally surreal.

Turns out, by leaving on Saturday, I missed the rafting and the mountain biking. I’d psyched myself up to face my fears, but now I wouldn’t have the opportunity.  So I thought.

Turns out, there were a lot more fears for me to face at the other end of that plane ride, and none so trite as white water or a stupid mountain.

Turns out, sometimes bravery is sitting next to a hospital bed not doing anything more than listening. Sometimes it’s just being there.  Sometimes courage is hearing doctors say things you really don’t want to hear, and going on anyway. Sometimes it’s finding hope where there doesn’t seem to be any.

My dad is OK for now; he’s in the hospital and he’s ready to fight. My grandfather ended up in the hospital while I was there, too, but he is home now. Cancer means there is no more normal, but we’re about as normal as we get. 

I’m home now, and my fears haven’t gone.  Someone said that courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s facing your fears anyway.

I was afraid to go.  But I’m so glad I faced my fears and went.

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