Meet Our Model – Late Summer 2018
“There is joy in our future that we cannot currently see.”
HS: You exude positivity. Can you tell us about how you approach emotional health?
SS: I 100% believe that happiness is a choice! Life can be unfair, it really can; but you have to look for joy even in tragic situations. I have to wake up every day and look at this experience as an opportunity – how can I grow from this? How can I help my children grow from this?
HS: What opportunities have you found through this experience?
SS: Well, my husband always modeled a positive attitude and a servant heart, even with a terminal diagnosis. As a way to honor his legacy, I look for ways to help others. We started a support group through my church for widows raising children. We’ve been meeting for almost a year now, and I’ve met over 40 women in similar situations that I never would have otherwise. Every change we face in life presents opportunities to connect with people in new ways and discover things about ourselves and others.
HS: How has physical fitness helped you manage your grief?
SS: My kids are the reason I get out of bed in the morning, but my girlfriends get me through the day. They are great at incorporating exercise into our plans and getting me out of the house. We work out at least five days a week. That quality time and talk therapy with them, plus being outside, has been integral to my recovery. This year, one of my best friends got her certification to be a personal trainer, and I was her first “trial” client. We trained for the Chattanooga Marathon Relay together, where four teammates run about seven miles each. I crossed the finish line with three of my friends, which was a perfect metaphor for how supportive they’ve been these past two years.
HS: How has your network of friends and family become a bigger part of your life?
SS: We’ve been in the youth baseball community since the boys were three years old, and a lot of my friends are from that group. They are more like our family. And of course, our church and family have been there for us constantly. It takes a village to raise children, and all of those communities supported us during the year that Dan had cancer, and in the year since.
Photos by Lanewood Studio