Persevere as all bad things end
When I opened Facebook a couple of days ago, I saw a random photo, one of those occasionally displayed on your page as “see your memories, one year ago”.
I winced. Usually, I only glance at these photos before I delete them, but not this time. I kept looking at this photo for a long while and thought about how much had happened during one year.
Sometimes, we cannot even remotely guess where our life’s road will lead us. It was, for me, a wise reminder that no matter how difficult the situation we find ourselves in, no matter how difficult a stretch, it eventually passes. All bad things end.
The main point at this time in our lives is to find the strength and perseverance to live through this period, day after day. Do not give up, go forward without lowering your head, do everything possible to win. Looking back, I think that if I knew what the result would be, I would be so happy. But I did not know, I could only believe in my deepest but trembling heart that everything would be fine.
The photo Facebook selected is very special for me.
I closed my eyes and visualised that day — a deserted winter beach and a calm sea. Sunny, but cool. My mother and I took a long walk, despite her age of 80 years.
She had flown from San Francisco to cheer me up. My mom is my best friend and I love to be with her. We talk about everything.
I was very weak after my first three chemotherapies. We moved slowly, discussing everything except my illness. We reminisced about our home town in Siberia, Irkutsk. We remembered our glorious summers at mighty Lake Baikal, we smiled about our loved ones, we laughed at crazy stories, and sometimes we walked in silence.
I showed her the pink grains of reefs in the white sand. I told her about the parrot fish who work tirelessly to grind the coral with their beaks. I joked that they have the same work ethic as her, always going nonstop.
Only once did my mom pause and ask me, “Nina, what will happen?”
To which I replied: “It will be all right, let’s not even dare to think about it.”
Mom took this photo, now on Facebook. She was very frightened of pushing the wrong button.
On that day, I did not know what future I would have. I could only believe in a good result. I passionately believed in my good health. I looked ahead and made plans. I was determined to win.
And then a year passed. For me, it did not fly, but slowly crawled. But now, how everything has changed!
I would never have guessed what I would do after my treatments. I did not know I would start an online service to help counsel Russian women, or that I would make countless live broadcasts and answer thousands of e-mails or that I, Nina London, would be talking to women all over the world, and helping them in their darkest hours. Never did I imagine the love that would flow back to me from these efforts, the strength and purpose I would gain by giving.
After going through my ordeal, I found an enormous desire to inspire, motivate and help other women to change their dire situations. To start new lives without fear and actually work on better health through new habits and attitudes, and find their inner confidence, their smiles. To my surprise, I became happy as never before.
It was only one year. A year that changed my life. My dear readers, never give up. Look forward. In almost any tough situation there is a way out. You must search and find it. It’s up to you to sit in the dark or look for the light. And when you find it, go for it with all your heart. You have more strength than you know.
•Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her here: www.ninalondon.com
Roland Skinner (1940-2018)
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