“There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams.
Michael: Where did he put them?
Mrs. Darling: He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer… He does. And that is why he is brave.” ― Peter Pan
My father lived a relatively quiet life. Worked, fixed things around the house, went to church, took the family on occasional vacations. He lived out his dreams through books. He met my mom while riding horses in Philadephia’s Fairmount Park. Once he became a family man, he rode with the likes of Zane Grey and Louis L’ Amour. I still remember the first time my parents came out to see us in Wyoming. I was driving them to Rock Springs, which was about 45 minutes’ drive through high desert terrain. He was impressed that his baby girl could navigate through that barren land on a regular basis, just to do some grocery shopping. As he sat next to me, he took in the whole scope from horizon to horizon–sage brush, open range, wild horses–all the glorious “nothing” (as some people call it). Like a kid in a candy shop, he exclaimed, “Isn’t this neat?” For a week or so, he got to live his dream.
I came across a quote by J.M. Barrie earlier today, and that is what got the whole thought process flowing for this post:
“We are all failures–at least, the best of us are.”
My husband (who has always been one of my favorite authors) wrote today:
“We stigmatize failure, but really, if the deed or investment was a noble and righteous thing, at least he who failed, TRIED. Most will not risk it all. Most will not sacrifice at all. So go easy when someone “crashes and burns”, they may have invested everything, and therefore just lost everything. Peter actually got out of the boat. The other disciples had opportunity, but Peter got out. He failed, but he tried.”
What courage it takes to be a leader, a husband, a father. To “fall seven times and get back up.” So much riding upon their example and performance. Regularly they are called upon to “step out”, while their children watch to see how it’s done. I takes courage. It requires putting dreams in drawers. It mandates a daunting measure of self-denial. But, when all is said and done, and they stand before the sole Onlooker who truly understands and remembers how staggering this weight of responsibility has been for a pile of dust to bear…there will be, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”I have no doubt.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill