Tag Archives: Isabelle Smith

Courage Defined in the Face of a Child

How do you define courage?

Some define it by one’s ability to stand up to insurmountable odds like an American Patriot facing a charge of the British Army. Others may define it by the quiet determination of a toddler as she stands at the edge of the diving board for the very first time. Courage can be personified in standing up to a superior for what’s right, and is aptly illustrated by a stranger rushing into a burning house to rescue someone inside.

Courage comes in large Costco-sized crates and can also fit neatly into a pocket. It is both colorful and colorless, tasty and bitter, blunt and sharp.

And it is represented anew in the sweet face of a child.

The story of 9-year-old Isabelle Smith of Gig Harbor in the current issue of Gig Harbor Life personifies courage in every sense of the word.

Most everyone faces issues at some time in their lives that leave scars either real or emotional, but few of us receive them at such a young age and for most of us, we can hide or mask life’s “wounds” from the people around us. But Isabelle has been given a route through life few could endure — and yet she does so with a grace and style — and with the innocent smile of a child.

Her parents, M.K. and Ted Smith, have long ago learned to endure and survive the questions, stares and often rude and ignorant comments that come their child’s way, and they have taught Isabelle to do the same.

Even beyond the scale of impropriety from the public at large, Isabelle has had to endure numerous surgical procedures to battle the rare affliction she was born with, sebaceous nevus — bringing into sharp focus just how courageous this small child truly is.

I am in awe of people like Isabelle and the courage they routinely display every day of their lives. She demonstrates a strength of character I find seriously lacking in many people, and I find it both humbling and uplifting to read of her life and the courage she displays.