A close colleague’s husband is suffering from devastatingly painful throat cancer.
My grandmother is stuck in bed possibly for the rest of her life while her devoted daughter, my Aunt Judi, visits and cares for her every day as she has done for years.
I have a friend who drinks too much to escape her narcissistic husband and worries she cannot protect her children enough from his hostility.
A family member is starting life anew as a single mother who lost her house and suffered a few years worth of mysterious physical pain, dying friends, and lawsuit hell.
Everybody copes, some days better than others.
For me, Raphael is an everyday counter balance to life’s hardships.
When things get tough and despair tries to squeeze its way in to my psyche, my son’s mere presence on the planet is enough to put me straight. No matter how bad things are, I have in my past the “badder” thing that contrasts all else.
There are so many ifs and could-have-beens that might have claimed my boy’s life for good early on, and that agonizing experience, embedded in my cells, is forever more a litmus test for me for how hard things can get.
When my dear friend passed away a few months after we got to take Raphael home, it tore a hole in my heart, but the pain was not the same for me as what almost was.
Hurt is more survivable when deeper wounds have already begun to heal.
Past hurt is where I draw my strength. More important, it is where I draw from for limitless joy.
I revel in my good fortune.
And if sometimes I get stuck on some rollercoaster of doom, I just hang on.