There are moments in life where you feel like you are going through a storm.
Some incidents are small storms, and some feel like you are in the middle of a hurricane. I talked about one of those times in my life a couple of months ago when my sister’s family was attacked. That was the most recent time. The longer you live, the more storms you will experience.
As you go through these storms in life, there are always silver linings in those storm clouds if you look hard enough.
One storm in my life was when my dad had his heart attack when I was 23. I remember being pulled off a bus as I was the teacher in charge of preschool and we were ready to go on a field trip. My dad survived, and he is doing great today.
My dad had his heart attack two days before my parents had to move to a new house. He was still in the hospital during the move. When our church friends found out about the heart attack and that we had to move houses, about 40 people showed up to help us! It was amazing. Men were putting up blinds in the bedrooms; women were scrubbing out bathrooms and filling the kitchen cabinets with dishes; and we had a smorgasbord of food being delivered to us.
Even though the heart attack was scary and something that we would never have wished to happen, we saw the silver lining in God directing my dad to a different job that was not so stressful, and we saw the love and support of all our friends.
Then about 6 years ago, my mom called and told me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The news really shook me as my mom was the picture of health. She would exercise often; she watched her weight; and she was healthy. In my mind, it was my dad that we should be concerned about, not my mom.
I had thoughts like,
- “My mom can’t die early! She has to help me when I do my girls’ weddings!”
- “She helps me every time I sew something!”
- “Who would I call if I have a question?”
I had to deal with the mortality of my mom. I had to truly believe that my God was in control and that if she were to die, God would help me with whatever I needed.
That was my silver lining: God showed me that He could supply my needs. After I dealt with my faith, I had peace, and I grew spiritually. I am happy to say that my mom has been cancer free for six years and that she is still around for me to ask all my questions and to help me with my sewing projects!
However, my mom did need support during this time. I was able to go with her to a few radiation appointments, but I also had 4 children at the time.
Her main support system were her wonderful friends. My dad, of course, was a great support. He was there for her surgery, and at home in the evenings; but he had to continue to work on most of the days she had her radiation treatments. Even though radiation would make her feel tired and a little sore, she could handle going to the appointments on her own. She did not need her friends for physical help. Emotionally, however, they were there for her! Sometimes they would go with her to the appointments. If the appointments were on Friday, they would go to garage sales around the appointments. They would bring over meals. Through it all, they would laugh with her. Laughter heals! Laughter is a silver lining!
I think if I asked my mom, she would agree that having her friends who were so supportive was a silver lining for her. Those memories will always be there. We still will all laugh about a couple of stories from that time in her life.
Sadly, more than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. Many people have no idea what to do. They have so many questions, yet they do not know where to turn.
Allstate is on a mission to help every woman diagnosed with breast cancer by offering a free Silver Lining Companion Guide, helping them and their families through the experience unfortunately too many women have to endure. This guide includes practical tips, important information and inspiration for those who affected either by breast cancer personally or within their family.
Of course no book can take away the pain, hurt, or confusion that cancer patients or their families experience as they deal with cancer, but it does provide balance, perspective and hope that is needed to get through the difficult times.
The book defines The Silver Lining as “when inexplicable tragedy creates an opportunity to take righteous anger and sadness and turn them into a force for finding the positives in life. . . . dumbfounding circumstances can be channeled into action that yields positive outcomes.”depositphotos/7396739
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes:
Look for Silver Linings. Even on the darkest days, you will find them. All you have to do is look.
If you think you could benefit from professional support, then you need it. There are wonderful people & tools to help you and your family through this process. Remember; asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness.
Laugh hard and often, even when things are absurd.
There are so many practical pointers in this guide! If you or someone you know is experiencing breast cancer, the free guide can be downloaded HERE. It is available in English and Spanish. The Guide is also available for pick-up at select Allstate agencies nationwide.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.