Remembering those who came before us can help us grapple with our own challenges. My maternal great-grandmother, for instance, navigated a covered wagon from Oregon to Pennsylvania with two young children. Her husband sent her ahead to ensure they made it to Pennsylvania before snow hit.

My mother amazed cancer specialists in Pittsburgh as faith, farm life and meds provided a much better outcome than they predicted. All the while, she remained an active partner on the farm.

Widowed rather young, my paternal great aunt was the feistiest! She worked to make ends meet for herself and two children, and was best known for her cooking and baking. Aunt Cora gifted homemade foods and crocheted items to family. She refused to install an indoor bathroom and never admitted her true age!

My paternal grandmother was always on the move around the farm and in the community. One of her biggest unspoken challenges was losing her second child during an extremely difficult birth. I can’t imagine the emotional pain.

Reality Threads Then and Now Together

Every generation has faced huge challenges, and each overcomes them in their own way. The trials are different, but you and I aren’t the first to face them.

One common denominator among those I mentioned was their positive attitudes. Not once did I hear them complaining about the situations they wrestled with. Instead, they chose not to let those trials ruin their life or their positive approach.

We are not the first to face them; nor will we be the last. And, it’s a proven medical fact: A positive attitude is a must-have when fighting certain diseases as well as farming challenges.

A Good Example for Our Next-Gens?

Think about what examples you’re portraying for your next generation as you deal with tough situations. We all know cursing, swearing and blaming others or self won’t solve anything. Yes, a diagnosis or crisis may warrant it. But trust me, it’s not a solution. It usually makes the situation worse.

It takes time but we each have a choice. We can choose to seek professional help while leaning on God, loved ones and friends to navigate our way through the decisions with a positive attitude.

Too often, we ask: “Why me? What have I done to deserve this.” Refusing to make tough decisions or ignoring the situation allows it to get worse.

We can learn to celebrate each day and give the battle all we’ve got with a positive attitude. Then seek the help we need. We also can embrace the people who support us through kind words, acts of kindness and prayer. Accept the blessing they provide. When we do so, we become examples for our next generation.

Thankfulness is Part of the Package

I’m thankful for the strong, feisty women who came before me. They provided great examples for me as I faced a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

I’m thankful for prayer warriors continually lifting me in prayer during treatments and stem cell transplant, talented medical staff, and God’s amazing answers to prayer. Receiving them as blessings is huge.

Whether it’s a physical or mental health crisis, succession or farming crisis, there are always professionals, family and friends to support and help us when we need them. Our job is to accept the help and answers they provide. Then, bravely move forward as required, leaving a legacy of hope and resiliency.

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