good life with amy strouse
Part of cultivating a good life is appreciating the perspective that life gives you.
When my 40-year-old husband Mike died after living with ALS for 6 years, I coped well (mostly). After all, I’d had 6 years to adjust to the reality of imminent widowhood. I was getting by, going through the motions of raising our daughter, who was 17 months old at the time. But my life felt dull. Even in the midst of a terminal illness, Mike had a sense of humor, a joyful spirit, and an appreciation for simple pleasures like watching the sun set. Without Mike, my days were gray.
Shortly after his passing, I found comfort in a song called “Wanting Memories,” performed by a gospel choir Mike was a member of during college. These lyrics mirrored my feelings:
“I’m sitting here wanting memories to teach me to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes. Since you’ve gone and left me, there’s been so little beauty, but I know I saw it clearly through your eyes…I try to hear your voice above the storms of life….”
Mike had asked me to think of him and remember the warmth of his embrace with every beautiful sunset. And over the last 2.5 years, watching the sun set has made me smile. Recently, while admiring a particularly remarkable sunset — one that glowed brightly even through a rainstorm — it was like I was hearing Mike’s incredible tenor voice above the storm. He was telling me, and showing me, that I have learned to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
“I thought that you were gone, but now I know you’re with me. You’re the voice that whispers all I need hear.”
I am so grateful for the perspective that Mike’s life has given me. Whenever I think I have an excuse to feel down, I think of Mike — someone who had every right to pity himself, be miserable, or give up, but instead chose to focus on the positive and find the best in every situation.
Amy Strouse is a part of our Creative Team using the digital product. Amy currently lives in Dover, Pennsylvania, with her fiance Byron, daughter Ella, and dog Spencer.
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