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Thursday, June 2, 2011

PERSEVERANCE

Some people consider 'perseverance' the cornerstone of SUCCESS.  To expect the roads we travel to be a 'cake walk'  is naive.  NONE of us is immune to the obstacles which life throws our way.  BUT---each of us does hold the power to choose what we do with whatever lands in our laps.  Like my blog last week on "Forgiveness" (click HERE),  I made the choice to get some help dealing with my childhood sexual abuse so that I could go on with my life.  (Thanks Be to God!)

Today,  I'm not talking about me--but about a very very good friend of mine,  Susan.  Susan and I grew up together and have kept in touch almost all of our lives.  Several years ago,  I got an email from Susan --and the title said "Breast Cancer".   My heart immediately sank....  It was hard reading her words saying that she had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Obviously,  my heart was broken.

Cancer is such a horrible disease.  In fact, it took the life of one of my brothers in 1985.  I have prayed for Susan almost continually through her battle.  She has truly had several good years.  But--she has had some rough times as her cancer spread to her bones.

Anyone who knows Susan knows that she has a fabulous attitude and has worked hard (without complaining) through all of the pain and suffering, to have the best life she can have.  She even took a trip to Alaska last Summer.  I truly think it is because of her attitude and outlook that she has done so well.

However, these past several months,  she has had a really hard time.  She's been in and out of the hospital several times with fluid build-up in her lungs and around her heart, along with other problems.  I was so afraid that her end was near.  She seemed to have given up the fight.

BUT--thanks to a wonderful doctor (and to her fabulous family and set of friends),  and ONLY after Susan hit 'bottom' did she finally decide her future.  Lying in her hospital bed recently,  she asked her doctor if she was dying.  This doctor said that it was all up to her.  He wasn't ready for her to die ---and wanted to send her to rehab at another facility.   He said that he wouldn't send her IF he thought she was dying.

Susan thought about those words,  and told herself that she could just lie there and die ---or get up and keep on --keeping on.  She chose to  PERSEVERE.  As I write this,  Susan has been in a rehab facility for a few weeks.  When I talk to her,  she sounds like a new person.  She says that they are working with her about six hours a day (physical therapy) to help her get her strength back.  (She had lost all energy and strength since she's been so sick and in the hospital so much.)

She's eating again ---and gradually getting better.  She actually hopes to go home soon.  I am so very very proud of her.  So many of us would have just given up.  She is the ultimate example of PERSEVERANCE.

Who knows what Susan's future holds?  That dreaded cancer is WINNING --but she's not going to give up until  there is just no breath left inside of her. Susan does a have a goal which she is working on now.  Her youngest son is getting married in the near future.  Of course,  she doesn't want to miss that wedding.  God be with Susan,  my special childhood friend.

You can read more about Susan on a couple of previous blogs (click HERE and HERE).  Today,  I will share a few more pictures of Susan.

Here's Miss Cutie Pie in her shorty-pj's  ---when we were teens,  and she was spending the night with me!!!!!



Here's me (with my niece, Carolyn) and  Miss Prissy Susan ---also taken when we were teens!



Here is a picture of Susan and me after playing tennis with our high school boyfriends.  (Neither of us married those boys!!! ha)



Here is a fairly recent picture (Dec/Jan)  taken of Susan with her newest grandson, Andrew!!!



And  here is a proud Nana with Drew's two big sisters,  Lindsey and Rebecca.  Susan's three grands are the children of her oldest son, Brad and wife Joy.  She ADORES her grandloves---as all of us Grandmothers do!!!!

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So,  what about you?  Do you give up when times are tough?  The truth is that our true character is determined by how we deal with our obstacles.  The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if you get there fast or slow,  as long as you keep on going.  Hold steadfast to your vision,  your hopes,  your dreams and your desires.  Never stop and never give up!!!

Calvin Coolidge once said:  "Nothing in the world can take the place of PERSEVERANCE."   God Bless You,  Susan ---and all of the others out there who are struggling with a dread disease.  You are an inspiration to all of us!

By the way,  today is Susan's BIRTHDAY..... Happy Birthday, my Friend!

Hugs,