Tag Archives: WWII

The Definition of Courage: In Life and In Cancer

I spent a lot of time thinking of what to write on this blog. It’s October first and the beginning of breast cancer awareness month, but my focus on that will have to wait. We lost a member of our family this weekend – Davis’ grandfather, Robert Emerson Kircher. Emmy’s namesake. GrandBob as he was known to our family and friends was an amazing intellect and with wonderful curiosity – learning how a computer worked by peeling one apart piece by piece. He had a fantastic sense of humor – the first time I met him he hit on me, and it became a running joke. He was also a national her – a Silver Star recipient for WWII. He was a PT boat captain and went back under enemy fire to rescue over 20 sailors.

His passing had me thinking a lot about choices and courage. I have always thought people threw around the term hero lightly – to me, to my family. But everytime that comes up I think of people like GrandBob who knowingly put themselves in harms way and do something special and terrifying at the same time. I actually looked up the term courage today:

cour·age/ˈkərij/

  1. The ability to do something that frightens one.
  2. Strength in the face of pain or grief.

Under this definition we are all courageous – in the decisions we make that challenge us. In the way we handle bad news. To me, courageous was Davis sharing with the children that we had lost GrandBob. He voice choked as he shared the news. The children were curious – where was his body? Where was his soul? Henry said “I know everything’s OK because he’s in heaven but I’m still sad.” And Davis said, tears shining, “it’s OK to be sad.”

GrandBob and the men and women involved in World War I, II and subsequent conflicts are heroes. We display courage daily – my Pink Ribbon Cowgirls friends, their families, my friends.

But, GrandBob, our friend, our family, will recieve a hero’s welcome to Arlington. Where, as the children said “we can go visit whenever we want.”

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