Friday, August 16, 2013

A Lesson in Courage

Dear Amber,

   I could not get the image of you falling off your bicycle out of my head. All I could think of as I raged my carelessness is how I could have reached out in time to keep you from falling down into the woods. I'd cut down every single sapling and tree and clear the entire lot if it could make the scrapes on your arm disappear.
   Somehow I kept from sobbing as I cleaned your wound and I can't get your cries out of my mind. I thought, "she was doing so well and now I won't blame her if she won't ride her bike again."
   I reluctantly agreed to taking off the training wheels but you shocked me when you kept your balance and rode, a big triumphant grin upon your pretty little face. 
   How quickly fortune can change...
   The following morning, I checked on you, changed your dressing and we looked at your booboo. You stared with mild fascination while I was dying inside and yet, despite the pain, the sting of the peroxide, the discomfort of the gauze pad stuck to the blood from the seeping wound, you asked when you could ride again.
   I was stunned.
   Immeasurably proud.
   Sometimes, important lessons are delivered by the smallest among us. Courage comes in many forms and none ever strikes me as deeply as when I see it in your determined little grin.
   Had you told me you'd never ride a bike again, I would've acquiesced without a fight. But instead, you taught me a lesson in courage.
   In life we fall and suffer some bloody wound and at times, we allow the pain to paralyze us. 
  Despite your age, you're becoming one of the strongest persons I'll ever know and I can't thank you enough for what you teach me. You've brought much laughter to my soul. Your resilience has been nothing short of inspiring through everything we've faced through this past year. I thank you, my little girl, for this lesson in courage, for teaching me to look past the fall and ahead to improving. I can only pray you learn from me as much as I'm learning from you, my little Amber.
   Love you always,

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