I have met many brave people in my lifetime, but some really shine and have impacted my ability to be brave myself. The first time I knew I was in the presence of the naturally brave, she was only 10; when she took a chance and let me into her life. She could have made a far different decision. She could have said, ‘it’s just dad’s new girlfriend, not my friend.’ But she gave me a chance and went on picnics, let me take her shoe shopping, and ate two bite brownies with me – in secret. Please meet my daughter, Rebecca.
I could have lived with her dad forever and never made it “official”. But for some reason being her step-mom felt better than being her dad’s girlfriend.
This young lady inspires me every day. She turned 21 this past June and in our short 11 years together she has taught me what being brave really looks like – being vulnerable, while surrounding yourself with kindness and non judgement. Rebecca was brave when she let me be her step-mom, brave when at 14 she got up at 6 am to open the local subway restaurant, brave when she let me sit in the restaurant at 6 am to make sure she was safe, brave when at 16 she told the world she is gay, brave everyday when she holds her girlfriend’s hand in public – knowing that some will judge her.
Rebecca was only 19 when her dad passed away suddenly. She held my hand, moved back home with me, fed me and made it very clear that sometimes; a family is one you create for yourself. After about 6 months, she decided to buy a mini van and travel across the country with her girlfriend, and let her dad go a little bit at a time.
She is back home now, and planning her next adventure. Selling it all and going to Australia with her girlfriend!!!! They want experience work and travel in a new country. I bow to these two brave young ladies. As parents all we want for our kids is a safe, happy life but that does not have to be under the burden of a mortgage and a job they don’t like. Let’s encourage our children to embrace vulnerability and explore the world around them.
I never post pictures of myself or my family but today is a special day.
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