The hardest times are behind you

A beautiful young woman I once knew always used to say that “The hardest days in life are behind you”. It always sounded a bit unbelievable but I never argued the point because I thought that someday we would be lovers and I didn’t want to jeopardize my chances by arguing with something she felt so strongly about. We never became lovers but we became close friends and one day she taught me what she meant by that phrase.

Four years after we met, Sherry was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. We were close friends by then and I did everything I possibly could for her. One treatment after another failed and it became hopeless. I can remember one night thinking about Sherry and thinking that I hadn’t heard “The hardest days are behind you” from her in several weeks and I figured to myself that I would never hear them again from her lips.

Almost on cue, I walked into Sherry’s hospital room the next day and there was Sherry smiling and the first words out of her mouth were “You know, the hardest days in life are behind you”. That was it. I couldn’t be silent now. “How can you go on saying that Sherry? You’ve got the fight of your life ahead of you.” She looked at me and smiled.

“When you are going through hard times, it’s never for the first time. You’ve struggled before and it was much harder then.” I asked her how could anything be harder than what she was going through now? “When each of us was a baby, we had to learn everything and we had to adapt to everything. We couldn’t say what we felt or needed. Hell, we couldn’t even roll over by ourselves in the beginning but you know, we made it. We learned to communicate and walk and tell people just how we felt. Now we can tell people we love them. We can say yes we want this or no we don’t want that. We are much more powerful now. We just forget to give ourselves credit for all we have accomplished. If we just remembered how strong we were we could handle anything now or ever. That same power is still inside of us”

Sherry only stayed around for a couple of short weeks after that but her words are with me still and I pass them on to you now. Take a moment to see how far you have come, all that you have experienced and all the obstacles that didn’t stop you. You are powerful and you have always been powerful. You can do anything you put your mind to and keep in on. You have already climbed mountains. Set a goal and go after it. It’s easier than you think because “You know, the hardest days of your life are behind you”. Thanks Sherry.

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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