“Come on Kaya,” Evee says grabbing Kaya’s hand, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”
Kaya nervously grabs Evee’s hand and follows her up to the big bouncy house slide, to wait their turn to go down the slide.
“Come on Kaya,” Evee says motioning Kaya to jump with her into the water. “Let’s jump!”
Kaya looks down into the blue swimming pool water unsure and nervous to jump in. She glances at her sister who smiles back at her and together they jump into the waiting arms of Mom and Dad.
“Come on Kaya,” Evee replies grabbing hold of a low hanging tree limb. “I’ll go first and then you follow me..ok Kaya?” Evee says excitedly, as she steps up to climb an old Oak tree.
“Ok Evee I’ll be right behind to catch you if you slip,” Kaya responds happily.
“That’s a good idea Kaya,” Evee smiles back.
Kaya and Evee were the best of friends. They rarely fought. They got in arguments like most children…but when I think back upon their relationship…I think of love, laughter, and fun. Kaya was quiet, reserved and cautious…while Evee was a little more outgoing and daring. The two of them made the perfect pair. Their opposite personalities balanced out the daredevil in one and the cautious in the other.
Even though Evee was the younger sister, often times through her encouragement Kaya would try new and hard things. Likewise, when Evee was being too daring…Kaya would be the level headed one and offer to do something a little less risky. Both girls loved one another in such a sweet way. They looked out for one another and they had each other’s back.
“Mom I don’t want to walk into school by myself,” Kaya says sadly as she looks down at her shoes. Tears begin welling up in her dark brown eyes and a small quiver accompanies her lips. “I need someone to walk in with me…I don’t want to go alone.”
I look back over my shoulder into my little girl’s saddened face…and my heart aches for her. Before the accident that changed our lives dramatically…Kaya would walk into school with Evee and I…now she felt alone…she was missing her best friend.
I take Kaya’s hand in mine and begin reminding her of her strengths…
“Ya know something Kaya? I think you are one of the most courageous girls I know. You’ve gone through a lot and yet you continue to smile. You help comfort mom every day…you are smart, beautiful, kind, and funny! I know you can walk into school by yourself…you are brave!”
“Plus if you can walk into school today all by yourself…we’ll go on a special mommy, daughter date after school…how about that?” (a little bribery never hurt anyone right?)
Kaya wipes the tears from her now shining bright eyes. She grabs her backpack and throws it over her shoulder.
“Ok mom, I can walk in by myself today.”
“That’s my girl…you truly are one of the bravest,” I reply “Evee will be right there with you today. I’m sure she’ll be saying…
“Come on Kaya…”
I’ve had bravery on my mind lately…and to me…my Kaya truly is courageous. She may be shy and quiet…but her courage outshines her quiet. Each day she works hard at school. She laughs. She smiles. She teases. She skips and jumps. She learns and grows. Kaya tries to do her best every day even amid adversity…and most of the time she has a smile on her face and is willing to try new things…even now…without her little sister.
She may be hesitant to go alone at first…but with encouragement she goes down the slide, jumps into the water, and climbs the tree…all the while… knowing her best friend is right alongside her in spirit.
Sometimes courage is walking into school alone. Sometimes courage is starting a new job. Sometimes courage is waking up each day to the unknown, but striving to do your best anyway. Sometimes courage is even asking for help and relying on someone else’s courage and strength…which is what I do a lot of the time.
I’m thankful Kaya knows she can continue to look to her sister for help. I feel very blessed to know that there is life after death and that our family relationships on earth can be eternal. I’m grateful for the opportunities in my life that teach me courage. I’m grateful for the lessons I’m able to learn each day by facing the unknown. Life has been extremely challenging the last few days. My heart has been heavy and my emotions very near the surface…but I know that with courage we can walk in faith and know that things will all work out.
I know God is mindful of all of us. He loves us more than we can comprehend. He knows our hearts and He knows that each of us can truly be brave when faced with challenges and adversity. We just need to look to Him for guidance and strength. And when we do so, I know that He will send down heavenly help and assistance. We will find our courage and the bravery needed to accomplish wonderful things.