Aerosmith, Robin, Linda…and endurance for the long haul

I found a fortune cookie on the counter today.  Why are there always 7 cookies in the bag when you only get one meal?
Are you like me…I don’t really even like the taste of fortune cookies, but if I walk past it enough times, I feel the need to read the fortune…and of course, take at least one bite.
So here is today’s fortune: You have the endurance for the long haul.
Usually I laugh at this tiny piece of paper, because it is either far-fetched or so generic it could apply to anyone.
Today, those words struck me. Not feeling it right now.
If you have been tracking with me for any time, you know a couple things…I have been waiting for resolution to some financial litigation for over three years, and 3 weeks ago I rolled a lawn tractor and amputated two fingers on my dominant hand.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. 
How about you? Yeah, you have some things that haven’t gone as planned, don’t you?
Every time when I look in the mirror, All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone…It went by, like dusk to dawn

Isn’t that the way…Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay
I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin…You got to lose to know how to win 
My friend Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) has dealt with things not going her way. In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2012, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), likely brought on by the 2007 chemotherapy. Later this month, Robin will celebrate one year since her successful bone marrow transplant.
It is a triumph, for sure. For her, and for all MDS patients who need bone marrow transplants. The day Robin shared her diagnosis with the public, the National Marrow Donor Program experienced and 1800% spike in donors.
1800%! In one day! Imagine the lives that have been saved.
Still, Robin had to have endurance for the long haul. She admits to dark, dark days. Moments when no longer fighting seemed to be an attractive alternative. But she never let go of her dreams.
Robin was off the air for 5 months. She has eased back into a full work schedule, but now seems healthy and ready to tackle new challenges.  
I don’t know Robin’s mind, and I certainly don’t know God’s mind, but it seems likely that He has big plans for this wonderful, faith-filled woman…bigger than being the lead anchor on the top morning news program.
There is simply no telling what good can come from this experience for Robin and for the people she can touch.
Robin’s endurance for the long haul will surely be rewarded.
Half my life is in books’ written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages

You know it’s true…All things come back to you
My friend Linda Kalafatis did not go into the 2012 season expecting it would be her last as the Ohio State softball coach. It was her 16th year. She is the winningest coach in school history, led the team to post season play six times, had 10 seasons with 30 or more wins. She is one of a handful of coaches in NCAA history to have more than 800 wins
Apparently, these credentials were not good enough.
I can’t speak to the emotions Linda experienced. There must have been dark days.
What I do know is that she held onto her dream. There were surely offers for other jobs…consulting, administrative, private training businesses. But she knew her calling was to be a college softball coach and she stayed the course.
On Aug 6, 2013 Linda was named Head Softball Coach at the College of Charleston (@CoCSoftball).
Softball games in March in Ohio or South Carolina…hmmmm?
An administration that celebrates you rather than tolerates you…hmmmmm?
Dark days become light again.
Earlier this week, the College of Charleston introduced Samantha Marder (@Sam_Marder) as the assistant coach. Sam was a two time All-American at Ohio State and a first round pick by the Akron Racers of the National Pro FastPitch League. Her talent and enthusiasm will complement Linda’s coaching gifts nicely.

Fifteen months ago, Linda might not have been able to envision this picture. Now, she has a terrific opportunity to reunite with a former player and take the College of Charleston softball program to new heights.
Only because she had endurance for the long haul.
Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears…
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true

So here I am… two of my fingers are mostly gone…it’s hard to type, impossible, at this point, to write with a pen…already this is the longest I have endured pain from the same injury, and the journey is nowhere near over…the stress from litigation is affecting every relationship I have, not to mention creating tremendous financial pressure. The days seem dark.
Is the fortune cookie right? Do I have endurance for the long haul?
I am holding on to hope.
How about you? Are you facing down a difficult situation, but holding on to hope? Are you looking around for a sign that other people have made it through?
Sometimes that is the most we can do, isn’t it? Hold on fiercely, try to breath, keep hope alive. 
And maybe we our transparency helps others…
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
We will talk again soon…
Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!