Bravery is strange.
The sun is out, the weather is warm. The dogs bark at everything. I laugh. There is nobody at the door, but the phantom rang and the dogs must bark. It's their job after all. Sometimes they curl up on my feet or under my arm. They keep me warm.
It is easy to be brave with animals.
I sit in the doctor's office and shake. The doctor is smiling and he's rambling off medical terms. Sometimes I think there is a class taught in medical school on how to shut yourself off and not care. I suppose it is hard to care when you see so many patients. I keep it together. Bite my lip and ask questions. It is better to be informed.
It is easy to be brave in public.
I go for a walk. I can pretend everything is normal. I make dinner and clean house. Hug my boys and kiss the top of their heads. I read to keep my mind off of things and be the taxi between school and home. I even started to draw again.
It is easy to be brave with my family.
But it's hard to be brave in the dark.
Sometimes I lose it. The house goes quiet and I am left with only the pain. It hurts worse when I have nothing else to think about. The times between phone calls trying to get an appointment. Not knowing how much longer I have to hurt. Frustrated. Angry. I try to only cry in the shower, but I am heard. A young hand is laid on my back and gentle fingers grasp my shoulder. My son asks if I am okay. I say yes, but I'm not. He asks... mom, do you know how much I love you? I do know.
And I know I can be brave again.