I was recently invited to Goldsboro, NC, about an hour down the road from Raleigh. My college roommate lives there, and he and his wife know two families who have lost their moms to cancer over the past few months. We decided to get together for lunch. I guess the thinking was that they might glean a speck of hope from the dude who is four years out from the same sort of loss.
I think I often gain more than I give in these situations. It helps me to tell my story. It helps me to share my successes. And I always learn something new from others who are walking down this tough, tough road.
One of the fathers talked of losing his wife in March. He said, Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was 75 degrees outside. My kids were playing, getting along. Work is good. My parents are healthy and supportive. I have friends. Before she died, on a day like that, I would have been this happy. He raised his hand above his head to show me the measurement. And yet, for me, he continued, I was only able to be this happy. He leveled his hand to his waistline.
“I get what you’re saying,” I responded. “Nothing’s wrong except your wife died.”
Before Lisa had cancer, on a scale of 1 to 10, I often had days that were off the chart. I couldn’t have imagined being happier.
I then went through a time when it was nearly impossible to find a two.
Four years out, I’d say I’m really pretty content. I reguarly hit an 8 or 9.
I suppose there are those who are able to go through something tragic and return to a life full of off the chart sort of days. I also think there are a lot of folks out there who have seldom, if ever, experienced even a 6 or 7.
A friend of mine told me her aunt lives as a four. Always has, always will.
There are times in life that absolutely prohibit tens. Our own outlook and attitude though, can ensure we never see another one.
With all that life has to offer, it’s really sad that more of us don’t live off the chart. It’s a pretty wonderful place to exist.