Yes there were times I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all
And I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing

To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way

     Jacques Revaux, Claude Francois, Gilles Thibaut & Paul Anka

 

Left a widow with three children ages 7, 5 and 3, her life unraveled into a spiral of turbulence, depression and pain.  Her husband’s suicide changed it all forever. 

We asked her how she managed, how she got through it, how she survived. 

I did what I had to do.

She knew that she had to make it through for her kids.  They were so young, so impressionable.  They needed stability, to be grounded, to be unconditionally loved. 

She did everything she could to provide that.  Young adults now, she looks back with deep and abiding pride at the good and caring people they have grown to be.

I did what I had to do. 

For months they wanted to go to sleep each with me; they needed the comfort of my presence.  My bed wasn’t big enough for all of us together.  So for the first six months we camped out on the living room floor.  We ate a lot of pizza and any other comfort food we could find.  We wore out a copy of the movie “Grease” and sang along over and over to all its songs.  Whatever it took to make it through the difficult days, the darker nights. 

I did what I had to do.

Some days I took all three kids to my parents, two blocks away.  I simply needed ‘alone time’.  It was on those days when I was absolutely at my wit’s end.  I’m grateful my parents were there.  Without their help I don’t know what we would have done. 

The depression at times was overwhelming.  I toughed it out.  I knew those periods would end.  But, wow, were they hard!  Dark.  Lonely. 

I did what I had to do.

And now, I have the three most loving, responsible, loyal kids in the world.  They‘re my passion and my life.  I just didn’t want to let the down.

She got through it and today is thriving in ways she never thought could happen.  She did what she had to do.  She is a remarkable woman.  Strong.  Resilient. Courageous. 

We connect with many people who do what they have to do to make it through tough, life-threatening, debilitating circumstances.  We are in awe of the strength and stamina they exhibit to confront and overcome their often overwhelming challenges.

And, we also connect with people whose challenges are never able to be overcome.   It’s sometimes, because they have lost hope or cannot see a way out.  It’s sometimes because it’s simply too hard, too overwhelming, to do.  Sometimes the darkness is too much, the problems too many to rise above.  Sometimes they cannot do it anymore, cannot muster one more bit of energy to keep fighting the battles that never stop coming.  Sometimes there’s nothing more they can do.  And then, all we can do is walk with them through the darkness.    

We do what we have to do.