Friday, February 22, 2013

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Today my single step is that I managed to go to work, every day, for a full week. 

I had not planned to come back full time quite this fast but I was needed pretty badly and my boss has been so wonderful during this entire experience with John that I decided to try it out. 

I didn't know how I would make it.  A couple of days were hard- very hard.  Thursday (yesterday) was extremely hard, especially because I had therapy during the middle of the day.  Therapy usually leaves me emotionally exhausted.  It took me a few hours after to motivate myself, but I managed to come in yesterday for the second half of the day.

And so for only the second time in over 3.5 months, I walked in through my office door every day, for 5 days.

I have a great friend that I have only met recently (when John became ill- so only for a few months), but I love her dearly.  She has been a wonderful source of information and assistance and support.  The reason we became so close so quickly is because we share sad circumstances- her husband is also terminally ill, though he is doing better than John was and I am SO glad for them that he is holding steady for now.  I don't want to share too much about her because of privacy, but she is very motivational.  She is always saying to me "Keep that glass half full!" 

I admittedly am not a "glass half full" type of person.  In fact, as a person, I'm probably more what you'd consider cynical. But she reminds me that I have to opportunity to be that kind of person now.  She reminds me that I am doing so well despite how crappy I feel and how hard things are.  She's constantly just awesome despite her own problems in her life, and she is amazing.

So I'm trying to be a little more of a "glass half full" type of person.  I'm considering that I managed to work all week a "glass half full" situation- I am optimistic that things will continue to get better.  I think I'm pretty proud of myself for this.  I'm logical enough to know there will still be a million bad days.  I know I wont have any idea sometimes what day will be a bad day or good day, or even if a day that starts out good will turn into a terrible one.  I know I will not stop hurting, I know that I wont stop missing John, I know there will be days where I break down and I feel like I cannot do this.  I know there will be days where my children's suffering will make me want to throw in the towel. 

But I also know that even if for some time most days are bad days, I have to keep going.  Its what John would want for me.  I KNOW its what he would want for me because he would tell me that a lot when he was sick.  Once we knew his cancer was terminal, John's biggest concern was not even about dying- it was ALWAYS about how me and the kids would do (emotionally) when he was gone and if we would be taken care of.  He was assured early on that the kids and I would always be taken care of between my parents (who are amazing people and have been my lifesavers in this situation) but I know he worried a lot about us emotionally.  Especially me.  I don't do all that well with extreme emotional upheaval in my life.  I remember him saying once he felt like he had to hold on until he knew I was going to be OK.  I broke down and told him that he better expect not to die, then, because I didn't know how I was ever going to be OK with what was happening, how I was ever going to be OK without him, how I would ever be OK with the sadness our children would experience and how unfair this was to all of us.  I knew he could never hold on as long as it would take for me to be "OK" because I knew that I might never TRULY be "OK" with what happened. 

How all of this will end up, I don't know.  I have no idea what the future holds.  I cant even begin to guess.

All I can do is take it one step at a time.  Even if those steps are one second at a time, one minute at a time, one hour at a time or one day at a time. 

But maybe- just maybe- one day I will find all the single steps I have had to take have actually lead me through a journey where I come out stronger.  Especially if, like my friend always tells me, I keep trying to think "Glass half full!!"


  1. I am so proud of you Crystal. You may not realize it but you are such a strong person. You really are and your kids are lucky to have such an incredible mom. You are so right, just take it all one step at a time.

  2. Things like this make you question everything. I am new to your blog, but my heart breaks for you. Find strength in your family and friends, in a support group, through writing this blog, through therapy.....whatever helps. Having been diagnosed with cancer myself (thankfully in remission), I know that my BIGGEST fear when I got the news was how my daughter would do after I was gone. I was already planning my mortality....but all that mattered to me was that she would be okay. You're right - it's what he would have wanted. And you know what? YOU will be okay. Just allow yourself the time.

  3. Thanks, Natasha. I am lucky to have a great mom- my dad is awesome too, I am just a lot closer with my mom. But my parents in general have basically taken on a lot of responsibility to help me and I appreciate them so so much.

    Trudi- thanks for the words. I am sorry to hear you had cancer but am glad you are in remission. What kind of cancer did you have, if you dont mind me asking?

    Sometimes I wonder if I will be OK. People keep telling me that but right now its just too hard to believe it.