Overcoming Adversity, Change & Life’s Challenges

How do you deal with adversity?  What about change?  When are life’s challenges enough to stop you in your tracks?  When can you honestly say, the whole world has come crashing down on you?  Here’s a real life story that will hit home for many of you who have had a similar experience and weren’t sure that somehow you’d get through it!

On January 1st, 2008, A New Year Dawned!  We were enjoying the day with our family just as many of you were.  My youngest son Brandon asked if he could go to the skateboard park with a friend he hadn’t seen in almost a year.  My wife and I agreed to let him go as long as the friends mother would be there to supervise. That’s when our “New Year” started to take a turn for the unexpected!  

 Mid day, our phone rang, it was Phillips mother telling us Brandon had fallen off his board and was hurt really bad.  She said it looked like his arm was broken for sure.  Now when a mother of another child tells you this, you can only imagine how bad it really must be considering most of us would try to play it down and not up.   When she dropped Brandon off, he was in tears, and his arm looked like a crooked tire iron.  We rushed him to the Hospital only to find that the arm was in fact severely broken and just short of a compound fracture. 

The doctor said he would try his best to re-position the arm in a way that would get him through until he could see an orthopedic surgeon.  Then he pulled us aside and warned that there may be complications: nerve damage, growth damage, unrepairable bone damage and then the worse and I quote, “When we knock Brandon out, there’s a chance he could die!”  My wife and I almost fainted!  Then we had to sign the forms before they put our baby under anesthesia.  The last words from Brandon with tears in his eyes were, “I’m sorry Dad, and Happy New Year!”

Thank God he pulled through the procedure, but now has a long road ahead with an orthopedic surgeon and the fear of possible surgery, casts, x-rays, physical therapy, and all that comes with severely broken bones.

On January 2nd, 2008, we thought we had seen the worst! 
The year could only get better right?  Wrong.  The news networks and radio stations were telling all residents living in our area to prepare for one of the worst storms ever.  The City provided sand bags for homeowners to come fill and place around their homes.  They said the storm would last 3 days and hit Central California really hard.  My older son (with two good arms) helped me fill 30 sand bags and place them all around our house.  The memories of the flood that hit us two years ago seemed like it was just yesterday!  Then the rain started to pour, and the wind started to blow.  I thought man, it can’t get any worse than this. 


On January 3rd, 2008, I was asked to come into our Corporate Office in Concord for a meeting with the Regional Marketing Manager for my Company, First American Title.  I informed him I had numerous appointments already scheduled for the day, and I needed to watch our home for flooding.  He said it was imperative that we meet!  As my son cried in pain, and the rain pummeled our home, I drove into my office only to find that I was being laid off after 20 years of combined service to my company.  Almost half my life with this organization, and now, it was all over! Just like that!  No reason, just cutting back.  OMG!  Holy Cow!!  Now what?  How do I tell my wife and kids?  What am I going to do?  The term “Happy New Year” is now the furthest from reality for me and my family!  What an emotional ride this year has been already!

To make matters worse and even more unbearable, we have been without power in our home for the past 48 hours due to the hard hitting storms of Central and Northern California.  This is the first time we have had power and the ability to make contact with the outside world in 2 days.  I want to say that the worst has to be over, but every time I say that, something else happens!  So how do you overcome adversity, change, and life’s challenges?  I really don’t know other than to lean on GOD as the spiritual leader, and my friends and family for their love and support. 

 The Andersohn family still has so much to be grateful for, we still have each other.  We have so many friends and are surrounded by so many great people, we just know we’re going to pull through this.  My one and only goal right now is to provide for my family, and to find work in the next few days.  I am on a mission to find a place to call home before I lose my own.  I hope to find a company that will see me as more than just a number.  That may mean I’ll have to start my own!  LOL!~  Please keep the Andersohn Family in your thoughts, and if you believe, in your prayers too!  You have all been the best thing that has happened to us this past year, and we will never forget the love and support we have received here.

In closing, I just want to say that finding a way to overcome adversity, change, and life’s challenges might not be what we are really looking for.  Everything happens for a reason (I think) and learning to press on toward the goal might be the true lesson here.  Thanks for letting me share our “New Year” with you.  Our hearts may be broken, but our spirits are strong!  Adversity and Change may act as they do, but we WILL overcome!  Life’s challenges are inevitable, but being able to look back on circumstances and knowing that it will be OK, is what gives us the thrill of Victory as opposed to the agony of Defeat!  Until the next time, Be Blessed, Be Thankful for what you have, and most of all, Enjoy Your Journey, it’s the only one you get!  🙂

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