April 6, 2020
As we head into this week, by all predictions, it is going to be one of the toughest in our country's history. So difficult for many, our front line heroes, all those afflicted with COVID-19, the millions who are struggling financially to stay afloat; people, employees, small businesses, and restaurants.
I saw this post that I thought I would share that tributes our everyday heroes.
Our everyday heroes are showing the most faithful representation of being fierce, showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity to doing what is good and right.
Do you find yourself waking up each day, asking yourself if this is a bad dream? I certainly do. I know all too well this state of being in a fog of disbelief.
Ten years ago, in the Spring of 2010, I was forced to walk through a life-changing crisis of epic proportions. I found myself in a somewhat similar fog of disbelief. And often hoped and prayed that it was a bad dream. It wasn't. My healthy, vibrant, and dynamic husband suffered a cardiac arrest and was without warning...was just gone.
Our world was shattered. But he whispered in my ear from above...be fierce. You can do this. Be Fierce.
Fierce was a word that I knew quite well. I lived with a fierce husband, businessman, and father for 17 years. Complacency was his enemy in everything he did and represented.
When I heard his whisper, be fierce, and I knew that Frank was sending me a rope and a mission. I had to stand up, lead myself and my children to a new place despite wanting to curl up in a ball and mourn the lost love, life, and future.
I felt so strongly that this was my charge that I had black wristbands created to remind myself each and every day what it would take to walk forward successfully. My family wore these bands with me until enough time had passed, and the bands were broken or simply fell off. I know I wore mine for at least a year. And one day it was just gone. Maybe it stretched out and fell off, or I unconsciously removed it...I don't remember, but the message had been ingrained. Or at least I thought it had.
Ten years later, we are all in the middle of a life-changing crisis. I find myself again in a fog of disbelief. And often hope this is a bad dream. It isn't.
Again, Frank whispered in my ear...Be Fierce. That is what it will take to move through this time, this life, for rest of your life.
I searched through the house for the black band (I had several made), but they were gone. I immediately knew I needed this to be my mantra, my word, my intention, so I ordered new bands (lots of them), so I would not be without.
This band now sits back on my wrist and will stay there until we pass completely through this challenging time. However long it takes. There is just no way to plan for an event that stops your life nor business in its tracks. And when we can rise again, it will take a fierce determination to rebuild.
It is also time to absorb all the lessons that stand before us. Another iconic theme that Frank obsessively shared with his family and myself was the importance of the Three P's: Patience, Passion, and Perseverance.
As I was diligently working on my puzzle this weekend to ease the noise in my mind, this simple and powerful lesson came to mind.
Patience. A complex puzzle takes an incredible amount of patience, doesn't it? Especially with those pieces that seem to allude you for days. And there are always obstacles.
In my case, the obstacles turned out to be my pets who do everything they can to detract me from my mission. The cat likes to sit on it and shuffle pieces around. My dog apparently likes to eat pieces when they fall to the floor. One night, after I was finally making progress through the most challenging section, the animals began to chase each other across the puzzle, significantly disrupting all of my progress. Sigh. Begin again.
Passion. While a puzzle doesn't fit into my grand scheme of life passion, I do enjoy the journey. And I don't quit. When you are passionate about your life, family, and business, you just don't quit despite the obstacles placed in front of you. Our passion fuels our desire to succeed and rebuild.
Perseverance. After reconstructing the shattered puzzle, I began again to look for an allusive piece to my puzzle. I had been looking for it for days unsuccessfully. Had it been eaten? Or was I just not seeing it? My view clearly needed to change, so I began to work around it, finding another piece nearby that would provide additional insight. Finally, the new information led me to resolve.
In the middle of something so menial as a puzzle, I saw the lesson. Patience (be calm during this crisis and work on what we can to prepare us for the future), Passion (focus on those things that you genuinely love and fuel a successful life), and Perseverance (rise despite the obstacles and find ways to overcome.)
Be Fierce. In the middle of this crisis, we can be fierce by protecting ourselves, our family, and supporting the everyday heroes that are battling this pandemic on the front lines. We can be fierce by supporting local restaurants and small businesses; however, we can. We can be fierce by holding the faith and understanding that this is a marathon that will require love, dedication, and endurance to pull through.
Pastor Mike Householder of Lutheran Church of Hope gave virtual sermon a week ago that gave me an inspiring way to think through this difficult time. I encourage you to watch if you haven't already. Just click on the picture above and it will take you right there.
The one thing I know for sure is that our path forward will not be easy, but it can be full of grace.
As I mentioned, I have many of these wristbands (and will order more as I need.) If being fierce resonates with you, I have one to share with you. All you need to do is send me a note to email@example.com that includes your address. I will write you a good old fashioned letter (I have time on my hands) and send one along. I would be happy to do it and it will give me an opportunity to connect with you even if by snail mail. We are truly in this together in more ways than one.
I can't wait to see each of you in person when we come up for air. I will never again take for granted the opportunity to connect and serve you. It will be such a gift to be able to help you with your homes and your wardrobe once again. I think we all now have a profound appreciation for our family life and our homes. And a greater appreciation for the opportunity to get dressed up for the day because we have somewhere to go or to join a group of friends at our favorite restaurant.
Until then, be well and be safe.