“This is not public information,” Sharon said, leaning in as we watched our kids on a school outing, “but my husband will be back in the hospital in about a week, he is having another bout of it.”
She was referring to his brain cancer. His battle had been ongoing for six years. They had just finished a round of chemotherapy and discovered they would need another surgery. I was shocked. I would see her husband nearly every morning when I’d pick up his son for carpool and you would never know.
I asked her how she was managing and what I could do to help.
She responded, “I roll with the punches and I have completely succumbed to the fact that I have no control. This is my life and this is what we deal with. It’s a ‘new normal’. And the kids keep us strong because you just can’t fall apart in front of them.”
What she said next blew me away. “I guess I'm just happy it's us going through this and not some other family.”
Flabbergasted, I asked, “What do you mean?”
“Well, we are used to this challenge. So if Jonathan gets cancer again… we have a protocol and a system. We know how to deal with it. If it were another family experiencing it for the first time they might think their life is officially over. Thank God it’s us and not someone else.”
Sharon was sincerely glad that she was suffering and not another family. How does a person reach spiritual greatness to be able to say these words and mean it?
I was experiencing a small recurring life challenge and Sharon’s words served as a great way to reframe my mindset: At least it is me, I’ve been trained in this challenge, I can do it again. I wouldn’t want someone else to have to experience this.