"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.-A.A. Milne
Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot. just a 50 something who enjoys sharing stories with you about life, love, and a smattering of other topics. Last week I talked to you guys about the stress that can creep up on you during the holidays. The title of this show is one of my favorite quotes in the world. I think it is time to embrace this quote during this stressful time of the year or any time. One of the uncomfortable truths about life is it is easy to default to the negative and develop a pattern of stinking thinking in times of self distress. I like to reflect upon simple quotes that really rev up my sense of self-worth. Tonight, I'm going to talk to you about a famous quote from Winnie the Pooh's Christopher Robin, and how it applies to my life. I hope you can apply this important sentiment in your life as well. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
Let's start with the bravery part. A couple of years ago I was on my way to work. I checked my GPS to estimate the time it would take me to get to work that morning. It was going to be a beautiful day since my drive would only be about 45 minutes. according to my trusty navigator. But halfway to my destination, the defecation struck the rotary oscillator, so 45 minutes became an hour and a half due to a car wreck. My mouth became the Sahara's twin and my heart started racing as if I was five paces away from some imaginary finish line. Then, a pain ran through my chest that let me know it was time to exit the freeway because I was probably exiting life's freeway. When I arrived at the nearby clinic quickly explained my symptoms. Immediately they gave me nitroglycerin because my blood pressure was dangerously high. The pensive looks on the staff's faces were enough to convince me of my biggest fear. I was going to have a heart attack. The doctor called me to have me transported to a hospital to handle my condition. When I arrived at the hospital my blood pressure was lower, but I was not totally in the clear. I gathered enough strength to text my family to tell them where I was. but I failed to do so. As the fear gripped me, I kept waiting for the tsunami of death to wash over me. After what seemed like days, but was just a matter of hours, doctors told me I needed to go through some crucial tests. I didn't cry or feel sorry for myself. The truth is I was going to face some difficult decisions by myself and I had to be a big girl for them. I was overwhelmed when they asked me to sign a particular form. If they found blockages in my heart, triple bypass surgery would be performed immediately. No one was with me. I mean no one. The nurses who prepped me for the angiogram had a round face and kind eyes. Was this the last face I would see before leaving this phase of existence? I pondered. upon I glanced at the monitor that was some kind of medical Jumbotron projecting an image of my heart. "Your heart is perfect." These words from the doctor were welcomed with a huge sigh of relief. So what happened and why did I end up on this table expecting to have my chest cracked open? Stress was responsible for this terrifying experience. But I faced it briefly and I was proud of myself for doing so. What have you faced that is evidence of your bravery? Give yourself credit for your fearlessness.
Moving on to stronger than you seem I can think of one experience that highlights my strength more than any other in my life! June 27, 1995, was the day I had to talk to Cameron about his dad’s grave medical condition. He had just turned seven the day prior and he was an astute little guy. I knew that he knew something was wrong because we had been visiting James in the hospital for a few weeks. We celebrated Father’s Day and Cameron’s birthday next to James’ hospital bed. James had whispered in my ear during the birthday visit that he wanted to die at home. He didn’t want to be hooked up to anything and he was tired of the constant medical prodding when we all knew that the outcome was unavoidable. Reluctantly I acquiesced and he was able to come home. We arranged for him to have a hospital bed set up in the guest bedroom. James told me that he was not afraid to die, he just didn’t want to leave his babies. I didn’t want him to go, but it wasn’t my decision to make. Cameron had been riding his new bicycle up and down the street in the cooler evening times because he loved being outdoors like his parents. When I summoned him to come inside, he made a little frown that let me know he was not pleased because there was still plenty of light outside. “Dink come on in now!” Dink was the nickname James gave Cameron and I always wondered where it came from, but it fit him. He begrudgingly sailed into the garage and parked his bike. I told him that I wanted to talk to him about something and I needed his full attention. He graciously agreed to give it to me even though I knew he would rather be outside. “Have you ever had a place you really wanted to go to?” I asked. “Yes!” he exclaimed. “I want to go to Disney World!” “So, if someone gave you an invitation to go, but it meant you have to leave us for a while, would you still go?” I inquired.
“Well if I knew I would see you again mama, I would go.” My voice started to quiver as I explained to Cameron that his father was dying. “Cameron, your daddy has received his invitation from God to go to Heaven.” “He loves us very much, but he is going to go.” Cameron looked bewildered and as any child would he asked, “When is he leaving?” He asked with wide-eyed innocence. “I don’t know son, but he just wants us to be prepared for when he does,” I said as I fought back tears. We received our answer five days later when James passed away. The man who had been with me through so many hard things in my life, was no longer there to lean on. A few months after his death Cameron and I were coming home from a store trip and he said these exact words to me.” Mama, I am glad God let my daddy live long enough for me to be old enough to help you when he left.” I now believe there is strength inside of us that is revealed when the time comes to show that strength.
Now it was easy to think of situations that reflected my bravery and strength. The you are smarter than you think part was pretty hard, but it came to me after I really pondered about it. Starting this podcast is my evidence of being smarter than I think. I wrote the intro music, I create the content each week, and I manage all aspects of the podcast. This platform allows me to connect with people all over the world and for that I am grateful. How does the quote resonate with you? Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your stories with me.
Thanks for listening this evening and as always I wish you good health, good fortune, and a goodnight. Cocoa Griot out!