The Bat

March 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Family Ties | Leave a comment
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When I was growing up, my father slept with a bat under the bed.  When I would come home at night as a teen, or if I woke up to get a glass of milk in the kitchen, he would immediately wake up to check on me.  He would call to me and make sure it was me, even though he knew it was.  Knowing when I was home put his mind at ease, I guess.

But I do wonder…what would he have done with that bat if he thought there was a threat?  If the moment came that he had to defend his family, would he?  Knowing my father and all that he has sacrificed for me, I think he would do whatever it takes to protect his family — even if it meant violence.  I am happy that he never had to go to that extreme to make sure my brother and I were safe, though he did protect us in many other ways. I am certain there were many sleepless nights.

Though it does make me think about those trying times, those hardships, those moments when you think that what you are going through is going to kill you for sure — there is no way you can survive this.  You can’t see how the situation will make you stronger, as the saying goes.  You are pushed beyond your limits and of what you are capable of.  It is the reason why it is said, “never say never.”  We will always be pushed beyond what we define as our limits.  We will always be put into situations that test us and we will always do things we previously thought we would never do.

It’s about courage, at the heart of it all.  It’s not about being brave.  It’s not about not being scared.  We all get scared sometimes.  Fear is a part of life.  Fear helps us protect what matters to us.  Every good parent lives with a healthy dose of fear everyday.  It’s about confronting the unknown, protecting what matters, and letting go of what doesn’t.  It’s about being ready to use that bat if and when the time comes to defend what matters to you.

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