Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Brave Journey

Bravery. It’s something that quietly dwells within each of us, giving silent guidance to every step we take and each dream inspired. It’s set free upon each breath that is shared upon our lips and embraced within every unknown possibility we take for granted. We call upon reinforcements in our most dire and desperate of states and generously share it with others when they are in need.

A Year of Remembering
As I take a moment to reflect on 2015 I find myself consumed by a single phrase: “be brave.” In one breath a year ago seems so very long ago, foreign, and like a dream. But in another breath it feels like it was just moments ago - that I could still reach out and touch it. The very core of who I am today is bound to those difficult days. Days filled with fear, heartache, disappointment, decisions, and moments consumed by tears. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it is still painful. The hurts stings like icy daggers deep within the depths of my being. At times I am paralyzed by a creeping familiarity that catches me off guard- feelings I’ve tried to banish from my existence. I try and forget such memories and the cold harsh realities of what CF is capable of doing. The recollection of how different today could be and the humbling realization of an always unknown and uncontrollable tomorrow consume me. As those memories vividly flash through my being, I do my best to push them from my mind – running furiously from the consciousness of CF.

Grace & Gratitude
On the other side of that pain is a beautiful grace and the deepest gratitude. Out of life’s adversity and pain comes unfathomable beauty. The life I have been given is more incredible than anything I could have imagined. A year ago I couldn’t have begun to tell you where life would lead me. But I had to bravely forge ahead – embracing every moment life was willing to give and dedicate myself to truly living. To love more deeply, risk more greatly, to never leave anything unsaid, be unabashedly me, be alive in every moment, breathe in every memory, be rooted in gratitude, and most of all, breathe bravely believing in life’s great possibilities. I alone did not do it but by the hands and strength of so many. I cannot fully appreciate my life today, the opportunities I’ve been so graciously given, and the people I love without remembering this past year. This is my life and to be grateful for it I must remember not only the joys but each brave step through the unknown adversities of CF. Each of those difficult days, moments laden with tears, and life-changing trials has led me to this very day, has molded me into who I am, and has given me some of life’s richest relationships and memories. And that is something more incredible than I could have ever imagined.

The pain of a year ago will always be present within me. I’ll always cringe and feel a sharp piercing in my side when it consumes my consciousness. But in forgetting I lose myself. I force myself to be still and open my eyes to this very moment. I quiet my racing heart and mind. I remind myself of the gift that is this very breath. As I find myself facing the dawn of another new year, I am immersed within waves of gratitude and the words, “be brave” reverberating through moments of the past and powerfully resounding within those of the future.

Just like last year I do not know what tomorrow will bring. But the truth is, none of us do. I do know, however, that whatever life offers we must be brave – never afraid to remember the journey that got us to this very beautiful moment in life while living bravely in today. And most of all, we must always be rooted in endless hope for tomorrow’s possibility. Here’s to remembering 2015 and the great possibility 2016 holds. Love to you all as we begin this incredible year together. 

Take a deep breath and hear the words “be brave” within every step you take.


  1. Thank you for sharing. You have put into words the thoughts on my heart. We had a rough year with our daughter's health as well. It's a constant struggle to choose joy and not fear... Here's to a year of gratitude, no matter what 2016 has in store!

    Alicia (Simons) Schonhardt

  2. Alicia, thank you for sharing your thoughts and own struggles that life has brought you and your family. I see Brianna S. often and she has shared with me the difficulties and uncertainties your family, and more specifically, your little girl has faced this past year. My heart goes out to her and especially, you. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a parent and watch one of your children go through so much. At the end of the day we cannot control the trials our lives may be filled with but we can decide whether we will live in its wake of fear or if we are going to triumph and continue to live in hope and gratitude. Here's to a wonderful year for all of us. Sending all my best to you and your family, dear Alicia.