Her smile lights everything up

Previous title: Life and Struggles. (Wow, I feel like a whiner with that title)

In these times of family and personal struggle. (Wow, this sat in my draft window on here for years)

These times? I get tired of “these times”. My/our personal struggle is like many Americans I am sure. My struggle starts with Cancer. I first thought it started with trying to make money for having a new something or other or having to catch up on paying bills. The daily grind of life and living. The hopes and dreams and anger of wanting what others have and trying to figure out how to get it.

I think as a young man that was my major flaw. Not living the day to day life and always wanting more and never being just content with what I had. I had a roof over my head, food, water, internet (grin). I had a beautiful and dedicated wife. Children that I love with all my heart and soul. I was wrong.

The struggle for survival and keeping what we knew pre-cancer health issues and what we (My family and myself) deal with now is a whole new world.

Leaving the house is a big issue now. It is dangerous. I could easily fall and my family would not be able, I am sure, to get me back up. It would be so hard for them. I am a big guy. That weight struggle is another issue.

I, in the years past, have fallen head over heels into a dark deep chasm of depression. My poor wife. The stress and struggle through it all. She still supports me with a smile and a kiss and a warm heart I don’t think I deserve. Though she sees it differently I am sure. She takes care of me.

I would be lost without her.

My children also, “help Dad”. I know it is hard for them. It kills me. I want to camp, hunt and fish with them. I want to teach them how to defend themselves and survive with all that my physical self, used to be able to do. I can not anymore. The only thing I have is wisdom. I can only hope it is enough, lol. I mean I am sure I have a few things, sort of right!

More struggles… More “and’s” and “Buts” and “What ifs”. Or maybe it is just too much complaining and I am trying really hard not to complain. You know, keep it all in and let it fester! lol.

We haven’t had cable TV in over five years. No television… The boys don’t have Cell phones. Though we do have an emergency “By the minute phone”. We do have internet and they do have little laptops we obtained over the years. I used to repair them and so much more. So little handy devices still fall into my lap and I try and get them working again between the naps and laying down and the pain.

The pain… It is a whole door all by itself to open. I don’t wish it on anyone.

My family loves me. I love them. We deal and though it feels like a dark struggle always. I pray a lot and somehow things work out. Somehow it seems my damaged faith is enough. Or maybe it is my wife’s faith that is doing it? LOL.. or both? I don’t know. I hope it keeps working whatever it is.

The path remains dark, but when she smiles at me, it lights up so much.

Almost 18 years of marriage… It feels like just yesterday she smiled at me.


TL Stafford.



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