As soldiers train for battle, performers hone their talents for audiences, doctors train for the healing arts and citizens sharpen skills for the trades, I believe we are all, in every life’s situation and circumstance, preparing for the highlights of our lives and the agonizing challenges that confront us on our journeys.

With my husband now facing cancer, one that responds well to treatment but by far the most painful beyond excruciating, I am becoming aware we are not in lack of the tools we need to face this hideous beast.

Over three years ago, I thought of how fortunate we were as a family, while we had experienced heartache, had never known tragedy. Then my 17-year old nephew suffered a swimming accident leaving him quadriplegic.

It was then the changing of the guards marched from shock and grief to despair and anger. Daily, hourly and sometimes by the minute.

But something surprised me. Where I would have thought myself to hysterically collapse, I found a new ability to deal. To step up to the tasks needed without even an awareness of my own uneasiness…no small feat for one that grows squeamish at the sight of scrapes, bruises and road kill. A new and foreign strength walked with me infusing patience and endurance into my character and person.

And now, once again we are visited by an uncertain challenge that commands our attention to make ready for war. So we dress ourselves with battle fatigues sewn together from life experiences. We reach out and seize tools that have been so graciously welded for us. Tools to strengthen and give hope.

And so we have the choice: to frantically and fearfully react to the daunting drama or place our feet firm and stand in what we believe. And therein lies the war.

You may respond to Jan in the “Add New Comment” section below or email her at jbrehm@boomer-living.com and visit her website at www.planetsweetpea.com.

Author's Bio: 

Growing up in the Northwest and graduating from the University of Oregon with a teaching degree, Jan never intended to choose acting as a career or even envisioned working in front of the camera, let alone on stage before hundreds of people. But for the last 28 years that's exactly where she has found herself"¦and loving every minute of it!"¨"¨With over 1500 television commercials gives Jan the expertise needed to work both nationally and internationally. Advertising products ranging from diaper service to luxury automobiles, Jan emotes genuine enthusiasm with her camera presence and style."¨"¨Jan began as a model in 1981 and soon wound up in front of the camera in her first TV commercial in Eugene Oregon. Moving to Portland and pursuing a career in acting, she studied at the Training Ground, now Portland Actors Conservatory and believes it was here she learned the solid fundamentals of acting which lead to the 1994 Cascade Awards Oregon Media Production Association's "Judges Excellence In Achievement Award for Acting"."¨"¨Jan's career has included and continues in stage, film, television, corporate video, radio, live show presentations and print.

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