My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Monday, August 16, 2010

Resilient Krystal

Meet an amazing, resilient woman that I am grateful to call my friend, Krystal.

My Resilient Story....

Over the past couple of weeks my thoughts have been crowded with the reflection of my life experiences. I first feel I need to express my gratitude for all the many blessings I have experienced through my heartache and tragedy. To those blessings I owe the reason that I have and am still becoming a resilient woman!

The tragedy in which I am referring is the recent loss of my husband which in turn left me a widow at the age of 25. Was he sick you might ask, I would answer sick but in a way that could be hidden from the world. On September 9th, 2009 my husband of only 13 months took his own life. With that being said, I am sure it brings up a whole new list of questions. One of the biggest is "why?" I wish I knew the answer to why! He struggled with self-esteem and his self-worth. I have been left with several unanswered questions. I know right now I will not receive the answers but after many tears and internal struggles, I have found that the easiest reality to swallow is that if my husband was that unsatisfied, uncomfortable and unhappy being alive he is now in a place that is safe, comfortable and full of complete joy and happiness and I could not selfishly wish him back to this unhappy state!

The hard reality for me to swallow is that I have been left to pick up the pieces, to navigate through the mess, and try to find my new normal with no rule books or road maps. I have dealt with the realization that in a matter of minutes my world had completely crumbled around me and there was nothing I could do to stop it! In the last 11 months, I have planned a funeral, buried my husband, moved out of our house, sold both of our cars, sold our jet skis, boxed up the comfortable life we were living and placed it all in a condensed 8 ft by 10 ft storage unit. I have dealt with losing multiple branches from my family tree but only recently trying to graft them back in, closed out bank accounts I didn't even know I had, pay off a large amount of debt left in my name that I was unaware of, sent death certificates to debt collectors, signed my rights and all ties to his business in which he worked with family, I had to start working full time again, move back in with my parents, and each morning wake up in an empty bed.

Each day has brought new emotions in which I have felt every emotion possible and maybe even created some. I have been heartbroken, devastated, lonely, sad, frustrated, angry, confused, lost, accusing, jealous and unloved. Never before have I cried so many tears and never worn out the carpet so much beneath my knees. I learned really fast that I can't change the situation and I certainly can't bring him back no matter how hard I tried or begged for that to happen! I also learned fast that it was too hard for me to carry the grudge, the anger and the loneliness with me all the time. The key for me is to keep moving forward no matter how intense the pain may be because little by little it gets better and easier to deal with. I am not going to sit here and say that I did or am doing it alone! I owe a lot of my strength to alot of people! I have the best family support system who has been by my side from the second they got the call, the best therapist/friend who was willing to travel the tough journey with me, and the best spiritual strength that has come from countless prayers. I have no idea the reason for my trials but one thing I do know is that at the young age of 26 I have experienced more pain and more heartache then anyone should have to endure but through it all I have gained so much strength and experienced so much growth that would not have come any other way. Eleven months ago my journey started. I hope the good continues as long as possible as I have seen myself be stretched in directions that I didn't think were humanly possible. Each time I am a little better as I realize that I am resilient and I am capable of almost anything

Read her journey .

Share your story of resilience. Email me at


Jen said...

Waw Crystal you have been through so much already and your only 26! I don't know how I would cope if that was me.

Kellie Johnson said...

That's my brave and resilient girl/woman! I love what you have written. You've covered most of it. I'm so proud of you. Love Mom

Ro said...

Wow. That's the only word I have in reaction. Wow. Thank you for sharing.

Krystal Johnson Spencer said...

Thanks for your comments! It is nice to know that I am loved and supported in my journy!

Jen, I don't think anyone knows their own strength until they are placed in hard situations!

Mom-I love you and know I can count on you for your support!

Ro-Thanks to Becky for giving me a place to share! I wish I had more places that I could share and be heard and listened to. Wow is sometimes my only though too!

Ro said...

I used to say things like, you don't know what you can handle until you have to handle it. When I went blind and people said they didn't know how I did it, or how they would do it, I would say things like that. But my therapist told me to own my success. She said that not everyone would have the strength to make it through something like that. You have strength and resiliency that others might not have. You handled it because you are strong and have a good support. As did I. I finally had to quit being so darned humble and start being a little proud of myself. ;)

You have paved a road for others to follow, should someone in your life need to draw strength. I am so glad to read stories like yours and the others Becky is sharing. Obviously not glad for the situations that made us all who we are, but glad to read about such inspiring and strong people.

wendy said...

All I can say to that is WOW.
I need to take some time now an re-evaluate all my blessings.
I am so sorry she had to go through this.

Beth Finke said...

Ro said it best: You have paved a road for others to follow, should someone in your life need to draw strength. You are very generous to share your story, and if you have it in you, keep writing -- I have always found writing a very good form of therapy.

Pamela and John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela and John said...

Becky, I can't think of anyone else I know who is more resilient than Krystal.

Krystal, you are a bright star and an example to hundreds around you, especially including me. Your faith and your continuing trek brings hope to others who are also in survival mode and will continue to bring hope to many throughout the rest of your life. Your story is so beautifully written and I know that a new beautiful beginning is just beyond the horizon. You will reach it and meanwhile we will do our best to walk along with you as support through your journey. -Pamela