Part of your life
“Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.” — Dinah Shore
Jeff is a pretty tough guy. In more than 25 years of Air Force service, I don’t recall him ever taking a single sick day until he was diagnosed with cancer in late 2012. Sometimes I think that the physical suffering he has endured, as mind-boggling as it has been, is less burdensome to him than the psychological need to be well and working and taking care of everyone else.
As crazy as it will sound to people who haven’t been through something like this themselves, there have been many special moments in the past two years, even in the hardest of times. I am thankful for every minute we have been able to be together through everything, thankful I could sleep in his hospital room and be with him at home as he recovered from surgery and sit through chemotherapy sessions and doctor’s appointments. In many ways, I feel closer to him than ever before because of what he has shared with me.
Sometimes one of the best ways to defeat despair is to allow others to walk with us through pain or sorrow. It doesn’t come naturally for most of us, in a world that is often shallow and uncomfortable with the less appealing truths about the universal human condition. But masking grief and suffering only makes it worse.
If you are struggling with trouble of any sort, I hope you will be willing to talk openly about it with a kind and trustworthy loved one. None of us wishes illness or grief on anyone, least of all those we love dearly, but it is a privilege to walk beside someone who needs our companionship and values our support. May we all have the heart to give and receive this very special form of love.