I asked Deloris for permission to share her thoughts on this blog. After reading Jim’s story in The Oklahoman on Sunday, January 11, she emailed me to say her husband died of cancer in December of ’08 and like many of us, she learned from that experience about the coping skills people have when faced with that kind of health crisis.
Born and raised as a farmer, her husband was a man who did not give up even if the hail storm destroyed everything he had and even if he had to go in debt to keep going. He’d always get up and plant again. And in the same way, she watched him go through his bout with cancer.
She wrote: As I observed my husband and other cancer patients, the strengths they had formed from prior challenges they had met in everyday living – and then used them as a learning tool – were able to handle the cancer challenge better.
She also spoke of her husband’s faith that gave him comfort in knowing he was not alone and she is aware this positive attitude and will to live will get her through the challenges of life that she now faces.
She also sees in Jim’s story that he and his family will live life fully for as long as it lasts and believes he is truly blessed that he can express himself in so many ways to give understanding to others facing similar challenges, and says she will follow Jim’s example.