4 ways to face fear

There’s this really great quote that I posted to Facebook just before flying east to spend a week in Puerto Rico with family. This, by Eleanor Roosevelt:

Do one thing every day that scares you.

And so I signed up for stand-up paddle boarding lessons and traversed down a lazy green river in the beautiful interior of Puerto Rico.



And now I’m faced with a whole slew of new things that scare me. Pain in my back, shoulder blade, shooting down left arm and causing numbness in fingers. Needing to return to Oregon because my healthcare insurance won’t cover non-emergency care when I’m out of state. And issues with the insurance company for accidentally cancelling my policy.

I pull away from the curb in California and let loose with self-pitiful tears. Because there is no one to be my caregiver who would care for me in the same capacity as Hubby. (The self-pity lasted all of thirteen-and-a-half minutes until I found a Starbux. Chai tea cures a world of ills.)

I wend my way north, past fruit trees marching in straight lines, past towering peaks still wearing a bit of shabby winter white, and crossing over into the high desert of central Oregon. Loneliness tags along for most of the ride.


1 a3k-oregon-sm


I miss Hubby in so many ways, but when I’m on the road it’s much more pronounced because we did road trips so well together.

And so everything is overwhelming. And a bit scary. I suppose pain amplifies all the things that are not normally overwhelming. But here’s what I plan to do today to keep fear at bay:

1. Recruit prayer covering. I just sent email to friends and family members who believe in the power of prayer. Prayer isn’t about asking God to give us everything we want. It’s about relationship and conversation with the One who keeps the planets from colliding, the waves within their boundaries, who brings snow in its season. The One who gives strength and peace in the middle of hard things.

2. Draft a list. I know, I know. The list thing again. But it works. When there are multiple pressing matters, I list them. And then prioritize. Otherwise, I have a tendency to start off in several directions and only make half-accomplishments.

3. Do the hard things first. I will tackle the insurance company first. And I’ll probably use the widow card in the process. (A girl has to do what a girl has to do.)

4. Practice gratitude. There is always, always something to be grateful for. Like, being back in beautiful central Oregon, the land where Hubby and I enjoyed the best ten years of our married life. And today’s mountain sunshine. And the Porch Fairy. You remember the Porch Fairy who left numerous gifts on our front porch while Hubby was slipping away from me? Well, she’s opened her home for as long as I want to stay. You see? Much to be grateful for.

People have commented about my courage. But there are a lot of things I’m afraid of. Like, being seriously ill and having no caregiver and being a burden to someone. Sometimes I’m afraid I won’t be able to supplement my social security income with my writing. Afraid that I’ll never again have a place with my personal touch that I can call home.

For today, though, I choose to move toward courage.

Gotta run. There’s an insurance company CSR waiting for my call.


4 lessons we can learn from a cancer hero


The long, slow, sweet good-bye


  1. Deana

    Delivering prayers with your name on them.

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