Be Brave (The Dedication for our Apple Spice Granola) October 20 2015, 16 Comments

It had been an unseasonably warm day for a New Jersey January.   The kids ran door to door without jackets after school in the nearly seventy degree weather, helping their oldest sister sell Girl Scout Cookies.  Afterward, they took out their bicycles.

They sped around the block in a continuous loop, over and over, the older kids on their two wheelers and the youngest on her training bike, their mother, jogging behind, shouting for them to watch the driveways.

It was after three or four rides around the block that the sound of brakes screeching echoed through the street, followed by honking horns, and the din of a bicycle hitting the ground without the youngest girl on it. 

The rest of the night was a blur.  There was the ER, a child’s screams, a pair of shredded pink velour warm up pants matted in blood, pelvic and leg xrays, and the mother’s best friend, who appeared in the emergency room out of nowhere. There were stitches.  Endless stitches.  There was that housebound month to follow with visiting nurses and physical therapy.  But in the end, the little girl was fine.  She walked, she returned to school. 

The day of the accident, albeit dreadful for the mother, also served as a turning point for her.  At that moment in time, the mother was five months out of her marriage.  It had been an overwhelming five months. There was the managing the logistics of parenting three young children alone.  There was the juggling numerous jobs to pay her mortgage.  But more than anything, there was the exhaustion caused by her inability to make decisions about her future.   

She knew she couldn’t go on working multiple jobs forever, but what would she do to earn a living? She knew she had to move, but where?  She knew she wanted to give her children the best life possible, but the changes she thought she’d have to make in order to do so seemed far more radical than what she was willing to endure. She had begun to avoid any and all decisions she had to make due to fear.

Certain Eastern philosophies suggest that most of our fears can be linked back to the “ultimate fear,” the fear of death.  The day of her daughter’s  accident, regardless of her terror and her guilt, was also the day she realized that she had faced her ultimate fear of almost losing her child  -

 – and if her daughter  survived the accident,  and if the mother  survived the scare of the accident, then she really had nothing left to be afraid of.

Although it was a day she would never want to repeat, it was the day that got her *here.*

It was a catalyst for the mother’s willingness to take larger risks, sell the house, move to a different state, and start a business. 

It was the day she decided to own her ability to create her future.

Four months after the accident, the mother had a plan in place and an offer on her house. 

That same week, her youngest daughter got back on a bicycle.

Move swiftly.  Be brave.   Own your freedom, even though freedom at times seems scary.  We all have choices – infinite choices actually, despite our expertly delivered inner monologues that tell us otherwise.   We are all entitled to amazing opportunities.  Whatever it is you want out of life, I want you to have it.  And may whatever it is you want be within your reach.

I am honored to celebrate my daughter Scarlett, and give our new Apple Spice Granola her name, whose accident served as a catalyst for radical change, but who also, by getting back on a bicycle, reminds me every day, what it is to be brave.