Standing Up to Live

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

–Henry David Thoreau in his journal (1851)

Tell me about a time you stood up to live—a time you lived fully, with courage, stepping out into the unknown future. (It’s okay if you were terrified or scared—you stepped out anyway). Tell me everything you can about that time.

3 thoughts on “Standing Up to Live”

  1. It was 1989. I’d been in an unhappy marriage for the past several years., I was 55 years old. My children were 34, 31, and 28. All had their own families. My husband and I had been married We married in 1954, He was 22, I was 19. I was in lust, not in love; although we had many great times with our children, he felt threatened by my positive enthusiasm. I read recently that folks who don’t like folks who are happy are miserable with their own lives and tend to criticize everyone due to their own lack of self worth.

  2. My marriage was failing . We’d met when he was 21,. I.
    19. As I look back, I was in lust, not love. We’d both gotten a music scholarship to College of Pacific summer of 1950. He was a drummer, I an opera singer. When camp ended, he returned to his home in Vallejo and I to mine in San Luis Obispo. When I told my folks I’d met the man I wanted to marry, being of Jewish heritage they immediately asked what does he do for a living. “He’s a jazz musician”, I replied. Mom had a fit as I’d been studying opera for the past 6 years!!
    I was a Sophomore in High School. He joined the Army and tried out for the 22nd Army Band along with several other drummers and got the job. He was stationed at Camp Roberts a few miles from my home in San Luis Obispo. We continued seeing one another until he was sent to Japan. I graduated in 1952 and went to Redlands University. When he was discharged in 1954 we married in Vallejo and moved to San Jose. Our first daughter was born in 1955, in 1956 I lost a son at 3 months pregnant, our second daughters pregnancy was full of complications. I was in bed the entire 9 months to keep from miscarrying. I heard more boys than girls were miscarried so I chose to stay in bed as I didn’t want an only child. She was born in 1958 with birth defects. Her legs were windblown, she had a face that wasn’t equal, her right ear was attached to her right shoulder and every other vertebrae in her spine was malformed. I was told she’d never walk. We went to Children’s Home Society had her legs braced, surgery was performed and a new ear was made , her spine was malformed but on every other side of each vertebrae . Had it been all on the same side she would’ve been bent over at the waist and never able to stand upright. The Stanford Doctors said they’d never seen a scoliosis like hers. My husband resented her from birth because of her birth defects and also because he wanted a son. We both died together during childbirth and were written up in medical history as we both lived. I had an emergency hysterectomy at age 23. So couldn’t give us a son. In 1961 we adopted our son at 3 days old. My near death experience gave me hope for life. I’d been afraid to die; but after almost touching my Grandmother’s hand in Heaven and seeing and smelling the flowers and hearing that awesome music I had renewed faith that dying was truly incredible and I had nothing to fear. I plowed forth making this life the best I could under all circumstances. I started my own company, a staffing service Crossroads, in San Jose with 8 branch offices in Silicon Valley, My husband started a mens and women”s drum corp with 150 kids from 8 to 18 which I helped run. Our 3 kids were in it. I published a book, Drum & Drill with advertisements from Companies to help defray the costs and wrote articles about all the groups participating in parades which we attended from May to October every year for 8 years. I wrote an article for the local paper “Let your son roam the streets” which depicted what goes on in a parade. And if that wasn’t enough I returned to college to pursue my Bachelors Degree. Then my world came crashing down. My husband had an affair with one of the managers of my company and she had a daughter. I picked myself up, brushed my self off and started all over again. Left the drum corps and the company and moved to Santa Cruz not really knowing what the future had in store. Thank God we had a mobile home here we used on weekends. I took a few belongings from our Saratoga home and filed for divorce. Our kids were grown and married with their own families so it was just me. I answered an ad in our local Good Times for my 80 year old Mother who lived next door to my beach home as hers crumbled during the 1989 earthquake. She asked me to meet the man who advertised-“Gentleman looking for Woman, beach walks, conversation, dinners out, musicals.”. I went to the Ideal Fish Restaurant May 7,1997. He said he’d have on a white sweater. It was 106 degrees that day in Santa Cruz and the sweater was draped over his arm. We sat out over the ocean on the patio. ” I live in a mobile home,” he said.” I live in a mobile home”, I said- “I’ve written books” he said. ” I’ve written books too,” “I have 3 grown children” I have 3 also” “I come from a Jewish Family”, “I come from a Jewish family too!!” by this time I had to let him know I was interviewing him for my Mother!!!. His response was, forget your Mother, I’ll take YOU!!!! And the rest is history. We married 3 months later in Hawaii. Even though Mother was a bit upset with me she was very pleased I was so happy and my kids loved him. Needless to say we had 15 wonderful years together. Traveled the world. He was 96 when he passed away and I miss him terribly but am a living example that “Love is Lovelier Second Time Around”. I’ve been alone now for 8 years. I moved out of my beach home and my daughter lives there with her spouse. I ventured out again into the unknown moving into Dominican Oaks Assisted Living. I’ve had challenges with Cancer, Lymphedema, and Pneumonia, and since the Pandemic I’ve been sheltering in place these past 8 months. I feel blessed that my sweet husband left me with wonderful Long Term Care Insurance at age 70 ,that pays almost my entire cost of living in this wonderful living facility. Plus his investments provide me with a nice income.
    I can’t help quote Robert Schuler when he said “Tough Times Never Last; but Tough People Do!!”

    1. God bless you as you face this next chapter in your life. It sounds like you’re well equipped to enjoy it. Thank you for the beautiful testimony and I’m happy for you.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top