Monday, February 04, 2013

The Overcoming Adversity Blog Hop

Scattergun Scribblings
Last week I was speaking with a co-worker about some health issues I had when I was nineteen. I wasn’t complaining, but rather explaining about a surgery she had asked me about. Toward the end of the conversation she commented how, based off the stories we’ve shared, my life has been hard. I was shocked, and said so.
The only thing I ever feel bad about is my sister’s death, and even then I know that plenty of people have had worse tragedies. For me, though, it’s my greatest personal tragedy. I’m not looking forward to the next tragedy that trumps it. Because the thing about adversity is that it is a part of life. There is always something to overcome.
I can recount many people who have inspired me by their bravery and tenacious determination to overcome. My mother’s family was dysfunctional. Her father was abusive and her mother distant. She overcame her history to be a damn good mom and taught me more about love than possibly anyone else in the world.
My nephew has Asperger’s Syndrome, and has been misunderstood or bullied most of his short (13 yrs) life. He continues to extend himself, remaining friendly and hopeful, in spite of how people have treated him.
My sister, while in the downward spiral of chronic Multiple Sclerosis, didn’t become bitter at what the disease had taken from her.
But that’s just the beginning. Every day I work with kids who still play and see magic in a world where their parents rob them of their childhood. I see parents who overcome domestic violence, or work a full time job and attend school full time in the short-term, so they can provide a better life for their kids in the long run. I hear of people the world over who come through fire to emerge victorious over adversity.
We have a tendency to give adversity a hierarchy, based on what we are most afraid of. The hierarchy doesn’t negate what one person is dealing with, though. It doesn’t diminish the pain which any of us feel in the midst of adversity. It can, however, give us perspective. The comparison of adversities is what allows me to feel lucky because I haven’t lost a child--even if I did lose my sister. In the end, some may have more to overcome than others, but we all are heroes in our own lives.


  1. Okay, you made me tear up. What a beautiful moving post. I cheered for your nephew, your sister, and you, groused over parents who rob childhoods from their kids, and mourned for your sister. It is life. It's the conflict we face each day the sun rises, when we open our eyes and find ourselves still breathing. It's the hero song of our heart in each of our stories. :)

  2. Each of us a hero, I like that Lara. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Very nice post.

    My friend's son has Aspergers. He has always been a great kid if a bit socially awkward. He is very literal and sometimes seems a bit strange. As he has aged he seems to be fitting in more and more. He is graduating from college, plans to teach (he is very intellegent) and has loads of friends.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Lara. Adversity strikes us all at some time or another and we each learn to deal with it the best we know how. I am now the root to my family, having lost my grandparents on both sides, my father, and my mother. But, when I think about it, I know I'll join them some day. It's just not my time.

  5. You make an excellent point here, Lara. We all have struggles to deal with and they are all real to us no matter how you might compare them. I was sorry to hear about your sister. My wife is another person who is inspirational to me; she received similar treatment from her parents as what you describe of your mother. Yet she is an absolutely fantastic mother because she understands kids should be nurtured and cherished (she was shunned for her intelligence, if you can credit it). Thanks so much for taking part!

  6. This is so true:

    "The hierarchy doesn’t negate what one person is dealing with, though. It doesn’t diminish the pain which any of us feel in the midst of adversity. It can, however, give us perspective."

    Thanks so much for sharing Lara.

  7. "We have a tendency to give adversity a hierarchy, based on what we are most afraid of. The hierarchy doesn’t negate what one person is dealing with, though."

    Very good point and very well stated.
    Excellent post!

  8. Wonderful post!
    And yes, adversity is an integral part of reality! It's here to stay. The important thing is how to deal with and manage it!

  9. People who face adversity with grace are an absolute inspiration. Thanks for sharing these stories.

  10. You are so right, Lara. And I also believe that having a good attitude about what life deals us is a positive way to handle adversity. Once you begin to mire and blame others for the trouble, you become a miserable individual. Wonderful reflections in this blog post, as I, too, am dealing with a family situation. This helps me realize I've done the best job possible dealing with it, and things are looking up.

  11. I had a friend with Asperger’s. He was awesome!

    And congrats on your book coming out soon. Looks great! :)

  12. This is awesome Lara! And I love that you don't look at yourself or your life as difficult. One of the best things we can do is count our blessings rather than our tragedies. You're amazing!!!

  13. I'm so very sorry to hear about your sister. I can't even imagine - though against my better judgment I have tried, since one of my biggest fears is losing family members. I've been fortunate there so far, but as you said, it's all an inevitable part of life.

  14. You have a great outlook on life and all the ups and downs, sorrows, tragedies, happiness and joy it can bring. It is not alwasy easy to share our very personal stories. My wise husband always says 'all things are relative.'

  15. Great post, Lara. Speaking of heroes, you are a hero to me. Thanks for all your help, and God bless you.


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