“In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer”
As kids we don’t realize at the time, but some of the people we meet and become friends with, are ones that have some of the biggest impacts on our lives. Especially if 40 years later, you still have those connections and friendship.
I met a boy when I was 8 years old. He was a football player for our local Junior All American Football league and I was a cheerleader. That is how it all started. And ever since then, our lives seem to always circle back around to one another. We come from the same place and believe in a lot of the same values.
There have been years in between but, what matters the most, the friendship and connection never changes, and we know one another more than we even like sometimes. And he has always had the mentality to conquer anything. We come from the same place. Not just in the place we grew up, but in life as well.
I recently found out he is sick. After talking for a few months. Mostly about other trials in life and our kids and day to day stuff. It’s cool when you share many of the same memories with someone. For the first time, yes after all the years, he finally let me all the way into his world. And he finally told me he was sick. Of course at first fear and all that goes along with that went through my head. But in my gut, I know he will win this battle. He inspires me and I am honored to call him my friend and thankful I get to be there for him now.
Ok, so here is where I bare my sole. I too, was sick. It was almost over a year ago that I found out. The awful word no one wants to hear. Most family and friends still have no idea. Only a select few. My oldest son was the first person I told. And it was close to Christmas, so I waited until after the holidays to tell my youngest son. I made the choice to just handle this diagnosis and treatment on my own. You see, my husband had passed away and I had enough attention already and people worrying about me. I did not want anymore. It was a time that I just needed time to myself to process it all. I remember thinking “God couldn’t possibly be so cruel and take both my kids parents from them.” Now, obviously if things had reached critical point, I most definitely would have told my family and friends. I did let a lot more people know once I was given the all clear. This is still going to surprise many.
Some would disagree but, I believe we should be allowed to make our own choices as to how we handle these situations and what is best for ourselves during these times. But today, that boy I loved and have known all these years, is handling things very similar to the way I had. And that is ok. Loved ones may think it’s unfair or selfish. But in that moment. It’s not about anyone else.
You just want to retreat. You feel confused, scared, unsure if you will be there to finish watching your kids grow up, and very overwhelmed. As well as feeling all they physical affects that go along with it. Being on the other end of things this time, I have felt helpless. I desperately wish I could do something to make it all go away. It is hard for me to sit back and do nothing. And thankfully he has trusted me and allowed me to be there for him.
My point being here, is that, whatever it is that it takes to get the right mindset to take on a battle such as this, then that is the road you need to take. People don’t have to agree, but they surely need to respect it. Half the battle is mindset. So, creating an environment that is going to help us to achieve that, is an important part of your process. And only you can make that choice for you. So, if you are lucky enough to have a someone in your life that lets you in during a process like this, be grateful and just allow them to do the best they know how and respect whatever it is that they choose is best for them. Sometimes all someone needs is to know that they have you in their corner.