This past Sunday I was #bravelikebraedon and completed #100bravethings #19 at Be the Balance Retreat. I took the stage in front of an audience of 130; over four times the size of the largest crowd I had previously spoken in front of.
As the speaker up before me took the stage I could feel nervousness spreading throughout my body like a virus. Soon it gripped me tightly and I could my breath becoming laboured and my mind getting the best of me. After getting mic’d up I quietly made my way to the hallway. I paced, I shook my arms and bounced around to literally shake away the nerves.
I gave myself a pep talk! I reminded myself that life is fleeting and that I am living for Braedon now too. Inspiring others to take action in their lives from stages is a dream of mine and well this past Sunday it became a reality. In a moment of bravery I walked on stage sporting Braedon’s high top sneakers and gave my best performance yet and I guess I am tooting my own horn! They are of course too big but I wanted a little piece of him there with me.
I could feel the audience listening intently and hanging on to every word of my story. As I told them about the day I lost Braedon and repeated to them the hardest words I ever had to hear. These were the words of Braedon’s doctor at the QEII hospital in Halifax Nova Scotia told on that unforgettable day. It was the day after Braedon had his transplant. After many attempts of taking him back to surgery again and again; the last attempt being done right in the ICU because he wasn’t stable enough to be transported to the OR.
The doctors called us into a room attached to the ICU. There was a large conference table with boxes of kleenexes already placed around the table. We quickly settled into our chairs clinging to hope and begging and pleading with God for a miracle. The doctor came in and calmly but with total certainty told us the hardest thing I’ve ever had to hear. “Braedon will die today, there is nothing left we can do.” And a few hours later in a single moment my world crumbled around me when I lost Braedon on May 16, 2018.
I don’t share this story for shock or sympathy. I share it because I want to remind you that no matter what you’ve been through or are going through how you respond, how the events in your life shape you, how you pick up the pieces and carry on, that is on you. You are in control. You are powerful. I also want you to remember that life is fleeting. We don’t get to live forever; tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Your life is happening right now and if you are willing to uncover your power, step into your brave and act your life can be anything you want it to be.
Through the worst loss and the worst moments of my life I’ve decided that nothing can hold me back; not pain, heartache, loneliness, grief, PTSD or depression. I refuse to take for granted what was taken from Braedon; the gift of time. It is my hope that you won’t either. It is my hope that you won’t just be inspired but you’ll be empowered to take action in your life; not next week or Monday or in the new year but TODAY. If you need someone to come be brave with you please reach out and share your idea TIFFANYDAGNEW@GMAIL.COM
Special thank you to Terri-Ann Richard the Be Retreat founder. Thank you for including me in your dream and for making one of mine come true. It was a privilege and an honor. Huge congratulations to all other of the other amazing speakers and to all of those who took the day for themselves to just Be!