There’s a knock at the front door. I answer it. I am so relieved to see my friend Nancy. I have been dying to get out of the house. Pete is sick, in pain, scared, sad, depressed. He doesn’t like me to leave his side.

I want to escape. I want to be with joy which I am sure can only be found somewhere outside of my current life.

I step out onto my front porch to talk. It’s a little escape at least. Nancy and John seem more comfortable with our nightmare than many. I tell Nancy I don’t know how I’ll do it. How will I help my husband die, how will I endure this nightmare, how will I keep standing through it.

Nancy says with conviction, “You will. I know you will. You can do it. And I can help you. I am strong. I can handle your pain.”

She tells me a funny story of one of the last days of her mother’s life. Her mother was in one hospital room dying of cancer, her stepfather was down the hall also dying. As she tells the story, I can picture Nancy running between the two rooms taking care of her mother and stepfather at the same time her three young sons tagging behind. I laughed at the image. I felt joy hearing of her strength.

She did it. So I can do it. She told me I can. I believe her, and I feel better in that moment.