Friday, December 20, 2013

I wanna see you be BRAVE!

I'm not a fan of the current Microsoft ad campaign for their new tablet:  Play games, touch the screen, surf the web, blah, blah, blah and then they end their commercial with these song lyrics:

"Honestly, I wanna see you be BRAVE."

What the heck does being brave have to do with buying a tablet?

Do they mean you have to be BRAVE to buy their products - if so, that's a really odd marketing strategy.
Do they mean you are BRAVE when you use technology to play video games and peruse social media? God help us if that's the new standard.

I can not come up with a justifiable reason to use this word BRAVE in conjunction with any use of technology. It's such a meaningful word to be used for such a puny act. And today I have no patience for it.

Today my friends from our support group are taking their precious daughter home from the hospital, and not because she is better. They are leaving the hospital so that their sweet June Bug can spend her last moments here on earth surrounded by the people who love her in the comfort of her home.

So yeah, that might be a better use for the word BRAVE.

Choosing to unhook. Choosing to let her rest. Choosing to stop the fight because you are placing her needs are above the selfish part of the soul desperate to keep her physically here at any cost...

That's BRAVE.

Facing death, facing the end of this part of the journey. Facing the rest of your days without a part of your heart...

That's BRAVE.

Continuing to live and continuing to love after your greatest fear has been realized...

That's BRAVE.

In the last six years my life has collided with BRAVE.

Yes of course in the kids. The precious kids. The inspiring kids facing huge obstacles while still smiling - not even knowing the fight they are in.

But more so in the parents. The precious parents who DO know the fight they are in. Who DO know the stakes. And they don't run. They face the fight head on without holding anything back. Offering everything they have up to God or the universe just for their kid to have a chance. These parents who learn to give shots, and suction throats, and feed through tubes, and place catheters. Who hold through seizures, restrain for IV's, challenge the medical field for non-approved treatments, advocate for therapy, demand acknowledgement and refuse second best. These parents who love, hold, hope, cry, fight, fight, fight, and accept when the fight is over.

That's BRAVE.

I don't know what Microsoft was aiming for, but honestly, if they really wanna see BRAVE I have some names for them.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I AM *bleeping* Hanging In There!

If you would like to see me punch you with my eyes, tell me to hang in there.

Of all the button pushing phrases I can think of (and there are many), this one for me is the worst.
I have an actual physical reaction to this phrase. My body recoils like I've just been shoved, hard.

Maybe my reaction is a little much? A little sensitive are we?
I mean what's wrong with this little phrase? It's always said with good intention right?
Yeah, I know. But I still hate it.

I've spent some time examining my extreme hatred of this phrase and here's what I've come up with:
Maybe it is because I am immature.
Maybe it is because I am insecure.
Maybe it is because I am an oldest child and I don't like to be told what to do.
(I have problems, pray for me!)

But probably I hate this phrase most of all because... I AM *bleeping* HANGING IN THERE!!!!!!

What else am I possibly doing other than hanging in there?
I haven't offed myself.
I haven't abandoned my family and hopped a plane to Fiji.
I am right here, very much hanging in there.
In fact, I am as 100% hanging in there as humanly possible.

What have I done or said to indicate I may no longer continue to hang in there? Why the need for this type of feedback? The implication of "hang in there" is that I am considering possibly no longer hanging in there - and that is insulting.

I think it comes down to this:
Sometimes life feels hard. And I know in general we prefer to hear just the good stuff from each other. We prefer an optimistic, sunny response when we ask each other "how are you?"
Make it easy on me and say you are fine.
But sometimes life is legitimately hard and sometimes it goes on for a while, and IF an honest answer to this question of "how are you?" is given, or IF an attempt to be vulnerable by sharing the hard stuff is made, please do not do the verbal equivalent of palm to the face by telling that person to "hang in there." It instantly shuts the conversation down.


If don't want to hear anything difficult, then just don't ask.


If you really do want to know the truth but find yourself not sure how to respond when you hear about hard things, just say that: "My friend, wow, I don't even know what to say."
Or say, "Thank you for sharing the hard stuff."
Or say, "That sounds really hard."
Or say, "I'm really sorry, that sounds hard."
Or say,  "Please say more, I want to know more about what this is like for you."

These are the responses that encourage, these are the responses that form bonds, these are the responses that keep the conversation going, these are the responses that sustain us.

Life is really hard sometimes, way to hang in there!!!