One man's 7-year battle with cancer yielded gratitude, a 'thankful app' despite the hardships
“I remember Rich, he was really struggling, and he decided he was going to read his scriptures just front to back,” Amy said. “And he just, for a couple of weeks just read scriptures front to back, and that was a tool that he used over and over again. When things would get hard, he would start reading his scriptures like crazy, and that would just give him peace. We have all this bad that’s all we can see, all this hard stuff that we can see, but there’s all this good stuff, too. And over the course of seven years, Heavenly Father really made it clear to us that there was a lot of good.”
Amy is thankful to have learned the importance of gratitude and “looking up.”
“September especially was really, really hard for me. And it was hard because I forgot to be thankful, and I didn’t even realize it until a month had gone by that looking back I realized that I had been getting all these blessings, but I hadn’t even noticed. I didn’t lift my head up to look for them. But as soon as I started looking for the blessings, I stopped being so sad.”
Although Rich is missed by many, the attitude of gratitude he employed continues to bless those who regularly use it.
“I used to think that fighting cancer and watching Rich suffer so much was the hardest thing I would ever have to do, but I have to say that living without him has proven to be harder,” Amy said. “To say that I miss him doesn't begin to explain my feelings. We were high school sweethearts. We were married for more than 20 years. We fought cancer together for seven years. He was my best friend, my confidant, my sweetheart, my comedic relief. He made life fun. I have to fight daily to not let my grief take over.
“The blessing is that I have learned that choosing to look up and be thankful for the joy that surrounds me allows me to balance that grief with joy. It's been a common theme throughout our family's fight with cancer. We have learned that faith always conquers fear. That darkness always gives way to light. I know that to be true, and if I remember to open my eyes, lift up my head and notice, there is light all around me.”
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