Why I Love Polar Bears and that Nickname Helps me Live A Full, Brave, Life

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My brother and journey partner calls me polar bear. One of my other brothers does too, sometimes. Why the nickname was given, in the first place, isn’t my story to tell. What is my story to tell was my reaction. I was given the nickname over ten years ago. I thought it was interesting. I was sick, at the time, and had been to the doctor that day. My brother/journey partner asked what the doctor said.

I have a virus. My immune system is shot, at the moment, I got a vitamin cocktail instead of antibiotics. “Same ‘ole, same ‘ole, Stace. You’ve been working too hard haven’t you, yet, again?” I have finals coming up. I’d like to graduate. Laughter is all I heard for a good thirty seconds. Would you stop? I’m glad I amuse you so much. Thanks, really. He stopped and said, “I know you. I know you so well. I’ve known you our whole lives. Graduate? You don’t want to just graduate. You want to graduate with something else. What is it?” Distinction. “Yup, I knew it. You’ll get it, but first you have to get well. You need to rest.” I rolled my eyes. I know that. The doctor said the same thing. “I’m sure, but I know how to push you. I can get you to listen. You know I’ll stay on you until you do, or I’ll make you aggravated; then you’ll do it anyway to prove you can.” I rolled my eyes, again, Yeah, yeah, yeah, when’d you get so smart, huh?

After we finished ketchuping up, the spelling is an inside joke just for him, I couldn’t figure out why a polar bear? I went to google and typed in polar bears. I read and researched. What I found made sense: polar bears are very gentle until provoked. When they are; they get angry, ferocious even. That’s me to a tee. My siblings call it the bear part of my personality…now. I love polar bears because of his nickname for me. I purchased a stuffed one as a reminder of my nickname. Her name is Polly.

Years later, after we were chosen family, I asked him why polar bear; because knowing him it was some other reason…entirely. When he told me, we both cracked up. After we calmed down, he said, “The other stuff fits you too, sis.” I know. Crazy, huh? “Our kind.” Yes, indeed. Every time I need courage: I do my best rock star glam, tap into my inter polar bear, and make the decision to play ball knowing I never have to go through life alone. My siblings and I make the choice to do life together…always. That choice is paramount to thriving with my condition.

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