B is for Bridget, Brunner and Brandy


It has been a challenging week.

And what do I do?  I add to the challenge by agreeing to continue with the A to Z Blogging Challenge and playing catch-up!  (Thankfully, one of the challenge coordinators messaged me to find out if I was still participating.)  And then, let’s not forget about the challenge of making choices as to content.

To B, or not to B? 

I must admit I thought about foregoing this entry, since it had been just a few hours earlier that I’d written Bridget Spence: A Pearl of a Woman.  Somehow, it felt like cheating for me to do so.

What I was also given, amidst the challenges faced this week, was a reminder from three women that the impact one makes on this world comes in many forms.

B is for Bridget Spence. 

Bridget was a 29-year-young woman whose light shone brightly these past eight years as she battled breast cancer from the age of 21 and wrote about her journey in her blog, My Big Girl Pants. She passed away a few days ago, and I’ve been in a funk all week trying to make sense of this world.   She set an example of how to “LIVE with Stage IV cancer” and she touched many more lives that she may have ever dreamed possible.

Of course, the health challenges I face make my mind go into directions that I don’t need to go.  This funk led me down a path to include fearfulness…of not being able to have the time to make a “good enough” difference before it’s my turn. So, the universe decided that I needed a gift, which I found in my email inbox this morning.

B is for Sharon Brunner.

Sharon and I have been acquainted for a few years.  We have been colleagues, cohorts and comrades.  We worked on several teams to offer support to local military men and women transitioning to civilian life.

Sharon wrote me a glowing recommendation on LinkedIn, rendering me pretty much speechless, as difficult as that might be for some to believe!  I am accepting this “gift.”  Yet, there is a part of me that finds it difficult to do so gracefully.

These were the words that  Sharon shared about me:

“Excellent. Brilliant. One of the best adult educators and public speakers I have had the pleasure to work with and observe. Coral has the ability to function as a life coach; she can see clearly at a time where others become stuck trying to escape their own ‘paper bag’. Because of her insight, she is able to transcend audience paralysis. She is the epitome of an instructor/coach who helps audiences ‘get out of their own way.'”

I am humbled.  Pleased. Uncomfortable.

I recently joined an online support/networking group to surround myself with people I aspire to be like.  It has clearly felt as if I have found my tribe.  My peeps.  A place where I feel completely at ease being my genuine, sometimes quirky, self.  And we listen, engage, discuss, encourage and support one another.

Today I shared this experience and Sharon’s recommendation (and my reaction) with this online group of people who have incredible “superpowers.”  The responses were affirming. But there was one that resonated with me on many levels:

“Deep sea photographers use mirrors on their cameras because the fish don’t get many chances to see themselves and spend lots of time checking themselves out in the mirror while the photographers snaps the shots. We are always looking from inside of ourselves outwards so it’s hard to see what we are.

“I think that while we can see ourselves in mirrors, pictures, and even sometimes video, we don’t really get the chance to experience ourselves the way the outside world does. Soul mirrors are harder to come by; I think this testimonial is exactly that. Enjoy the view.”

B is for Brandy Morris.

Brandy’s response was to my question: “Why is it that others see us so much more clearly than we can sometimes see ourselves?”  ( Brandy is a “Personal Hype Girl” and Life Coach in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Visit her blog,  Illuminating Potential.)

A soul mirror.  I like that.

And the reference to the deep sea photographers using mirrors seemed quite appropriate.  After all, my name is Coral.

I am grateful for the people in my life who share so much more than surface platitudes. Bridget Spence, Sharon Brunner, and Brandy Morris have all done that for me this week.

And for each of these three powerful women and what I have learned from them, I am grateful.


7 thoughts on “B is for Bridget, Brunner and Brandy

  1. Judy Veron

    G: Grateful
    For me life isn’t only about what I can do or the mark I will leave. Most importantly it’s about being GRATEFUL for the people I meet! Their smile, quirkiness, attitudes and insight make a mark on ME that leaves me feeling so GRATEFUL for THEM!
    I wouldn’t be who I am, experience what I’ve experienced, loved and lost loved ones without this beautiful thing called INTERACTION in the everyday living of my life.
    Thank YOU so much for being one of those I am GRATEFUL for! Your insight and intellect have allowed my mind to share your smorgasbord of blog entries that otherwise I would have missed.
    For me, that would be like ordering a lovely dinner at the best restaurant only to be told, “their kitchen caught on fire and the restaurant is now closed forever,” after I’ve anticipated even ordering their signature dessert!
    Coral, I am so GRATEFUL I’ve stumbled upon your blog(s) and hope one day we will meet face-to-face and enjoy the best conversation yet! NEVER stop feeding me, I’ll always come back for MORE!

    1. Judy…thank YOU so very much for continuing to follow me, comment, and for making me smile here today. 🙂 Oh, and P.S. They’re (WordPress) so good at anticipating what may be needed on their site that I have the power to fix it! So, THERE!! 😉

  2. This is a very inspiring post, and hopefully online awareness will help others learn how they can prevent and treat breast cancer. Thanks for sharing this. I found you via the A to Z Challenge.

  3. Well, this will surely not be as eloquent as my endorsement; I am tearful. Reading this post came at a crucial time for me as life has become a bit overwhelming. Coral, I love you so very much and I know you will always give your most honest, caring self to others. There have been times in the past few years where I have made decisions in my life which reflect your advice. I believe I must give you credit for my success.

    1. Sharon…thank you for the friendship that we share. You must always remember, however, that you and you alone are successful in and of your own self. I can take no credit for your awesomeness! All we can do in this world is be genuine, vulnerable and tell our truth from a place of love for others. The rest is never up to us. I have learned so much from you because of your willingness to be honest and open with me. I love you, too. Hugs.

  4. Pingback: I Am a Survivor! | Beyond Life's Challenges

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