My Gutsy Story
I certainly don’t want to give you the impression that I’m the “gutsy” type. In fact, if you’d ask anyone who really knew me, they’d tell you I’m the “gutless” type. For example, my husband Greg would be the first to tell you how I drove him crazy when I was the passenger in the car. He’d love to tell you how I’d slam on my imaginary brakes when I’d see a phantom car coming at us.
Unfortunately Greg is gone now, but he really was the gutsy one between us. He lost his gutsy battle with cancer on August 16th of 2008, eleven days after his 59th birthday.
Immediately following Greg’s funeral I left Oceanside, California to stay with my daughter Sherry who lived an hour’s drive away in Orange County. Sherry was thirty-four at the time and she was fighting stage four colon cancer.
Sherry was gutsy like Greg, but in a softer kind of way. She would never tease me about being a nervous passenger, but she was the first to tell me that I needed to “get a life”. Actually, that’s exactly what she said to me, nine months after Greg’s passing, right after she had signed on for Hospice care.
One day I was massaging her feet when she said, “Mom, you need to get a life. Why don’t you go on a dating site? You know Dad wanted you to move on.”
In my weak attempt to appear as gutsy and strong as Greg and Sherry had always been, I dodged her question and replied, “This is my life.”
However, in reality, there was such a frightening loneliness deep inside me that even a writer can’t come up with words to describe it. There are none. What was I going to do when Sherry was gone? Who would ever understand my agony, and my great loss? The two gutsiest people in my life were slipping away from me…the gutless one in the family.
I tossed and turned all night. A dating site? Could I? Is that what Sherry really wants? How could a mother, a widow, signup for a dating site while she’s taking care of her dying daughter? Now that would really take some guts! I began to explore my feelings and a dating site.
The next morning Sherry was excited to hear that I had considered her advice and helped me in filling out my profile. Then we reached the last question.
Any additional information you should know?
Sherry was silent. I sat motionless. Panic struck. What was I doing? I can’t date. I’m not available. This isn’t fair—to her, to me or to any man.
Then a profound calm came over me, the kind of peace that I couldn’t will or force on myself. I could only trust and accept it. I recognized it. Tears of hope and gratitude filled my eyes.
What if it was possible to meet someone? What if he could meet Sherry before she died?
If he met her, he’d understand what I was losing.
My fingers swept effortlessly over the keyboard. “My daughter has terminal cancer and she is my life right now. Why would I be on a dating site? She is encouraging me to move on with my life, and what a treat it would be if you had the opportunity to meet her. She is an angel.”
I read my words to Sherry and she smiled at me and said, “Perfect, Mom, perfect.”
I hit Submit. The gutsiest, life-changing thing I ever did. Yes, I found Larry in the nick of time.
So far, the stories are all very different and “Gutsy” in their own way. We shall select one a week and feature it on Monday. Please comment, and the more comments a story receives, the more likely it is to be selected as the “winner” of the month.
To submit your own, “My Gutsy Story” you can do so at Join the “My Gutsy Story” contest.
Here you can find out more about our sponsors and prizes for November 2011 contest.
Thank you to those who have already submitted your “My Gutsy Story” to Gutsy Living. We are saving them for future posts and have four sponsors for November. We shall be getting more exciting sponsors in the future.
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