Aug 26, 2011

Life Knocks You Down

There are so many times life knocks you down. The pain hits you and you just want to fall to your knees and never rise back up. Yet you can't live this way. The survivor instinct won't let you give up. At least that is the truth in my life. I just can't wallow in self pity. There is this voice inside of me that says, "Get back to your feet.
Giving up is not in your character."

I have seen my share of pain. I suffered serious injuries in a car accident in 2006. I was crumpled and broken and literally getting up to my feet was so painful. It was a whole year of baby steps to get back to "my" normal. But there has been emotional pain far worse than physical. I haven't the words to describe the pain of watching your children suffer. You would give anything if you could take their pain on yourself to free them from their agony.

My oldest daughter, Dawn, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in November of 2008. On November 5, 2008 she had her left kidney removed. I had such grief in me that she was going to have to face another health crisis when she had suffered so many over the years. I didn't know how I could be strong for her when I felt so weak.

I just followed the lessons Dawn had taught me through the years. She is one of the strongest women I have ever known. Illness had devastated her body numerous times, but she wouldn't give up. She had goals and dreams. She worked when she was so ill she could barely stand to see her husband through college. When it was her time to go for her college degree, she battled illness, worked two part time jobs, and went to school full time. She graduated cum laude with a Political Science/Journalism degree in 2007.

Dawn had taught me how to get back up. I couldn't fail my child when she needed me. I stuffed all my fears and doubts inside and stepped out in faith I could be strong for her.

The left kidney was removed and it was hoped that it hadn't traveled anywhere else in her body. Tests had shown some suspicious nodules in her right lung. Three weeks later  they were surgically removed and later diagnosed as a fungus. She was cancer free. There are checks every four months to make sure cancer is not showing up, but she has been fine. In fact, her health is better than it has been in years.

Yes life will knock you down. We can not escape pain or heartbreak. It is all in how we get back up. Sugarland has a song titled "Stand Back Up." It means so much to me. I listen to it often and let its words sink into my spirit. Self pity will not get a foothold in me. I will stand back up!

I will stand back up,
you'll know just the moment
when I've had enough,
sometimes I'm afraid
and I don't feel that tough,
but I'll stand back up.


  1. "I get knocked down, but I get up know you're never gonna keep me down." Sometimes it seems that life is one big struggle because the bad things can be so overpowering, and the good things seem to disappear for a while. I'm lucky to be fairly healthy, but have been through a few tough times with my husband's health over the past 10 years. Always monitoring, always wondering what's next. Your daughter is an inspiration, as are you. Always try to keep that glass half-full, Susie. A positive outlook is what keeps us going and able to spit in the face of our adversities!! Best to you and yours.

  2. Mom, we are survivors because we are lovers...of life, friendship, and family. Thank you and Dad for always being there for me no matter what. Words can never fully express my love and gratitude.