Stress Brought Realization

Erica - Smithton, Illinois
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that enduring stress has made me realize the importance of cherishing family. As a culture, we tend to view stress as a horrible thing, and that is true if it is not handled in a proper way. It was about a year ago, stress hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.

My husband, Jon, and I got married on February 10, 2006. What a happy day for me. I had found the love of my life, and was so happy. Jon had worked for his dad since he was 15 years old. His dad was an excavator and was the owner of Arras Excavating and Jon was following right in his footsteps. Jon always dreamed of becoming a nurse and working in the medical field. He knew this was not going to happen because he was going to become the owner of Arras Excavating.

Everything was going great for me. Life couldn’t have been any better, and I was stress-free. Then one day Jon came home and said, “Dad was feeling really sick today.” This sickness continued for a couple weeks. It was time to go to the doctor. We then found out the devastating news that his dad had cancer. Immediately our hearts sank and we could barely take the next breath of air. The doctors only gave him a year to live. Jon’s job was coming to an end and it was only a matter of time before he would lose his job and his dad. Seeing Jon at the lowest point in his life, made me want to die. We were weak and the stress was overwhelming.

It was at that lowest moment, when a life changing realization entered my mind. I had to manage stress and become strong for the both of us. If not, our marriage would fail and the happiness I once had would be forgotten forever. My love for friends and family has become stronger than ever. After all, do we know when we will take our last breath? I cherish just being alive and having a wonderful family that loves each other. I believe enduring that stress has made me stronger.

Jon is now fulfilling his dream and he is going to school to become a registered nurse. I have gone back to school and am pursuing an accounting degree. Yes, I do still have stress, as everyone does, but I believe it’s through that stress, that I have become a stronger person. I have realized the importance of cherishing life, love, and family, and I am thankful for that.