The Golden Thread

Life is hard, but there are two principles that help me survive it:

  1. There is always a slender, golden thread of hope, running through every trial and tribulation of my life.
  2. Every difficult situation I go through has the potential to make me a better person, who is better able to help/love others.

This year, like every other year before it, pressed me with challenges bigger than I thought I was strong enough to handle. One of the most terrifying for me to face was to watch some of the people I love most have to face serious illnesses and the possibility of death.

This year, I watched my sister-in-law struggle against Stage 3C dysgerminoma cancer. I watched her cope with pain and little sleep. I watched her lose her hair, her ovaries, her energy… There were days that she walked the halls at UNC hospital, crying with pain as I walked a step behind her, pushing her IV pole and crying helplessly along with her.

It was scary. It was hard. I never would have chosen for any of us—especially her—to have gone through it. But now, I get the joy of knowing that she won—she beat it! And I’m watching her get back everything she lost—plus some!

I know from years past that many bloggers will do introspective posts at the end of the year. I guess this is mine. I’m pushing out from under twelve months worth of worry, fear, self-condemnation, and following that slim, golden thread of hope into the next year, where I can take the lessons learned and be a better person than I was before. Where I can have peace and joy and rest in greater measures. And where I can better share those with others.

There have been so many bright spots this year. There have been moments of peace and joy and rest that have made the golden thread easier to find and hold onto. They were rarely the big moments that had lots of fanfare. They were the quiet moments… Like sitting in an empty deli on a Sunday night, in downtown Portland, with two friends who have taught me that brotherly love isn’t limited by DNA and is stronger than any distance that could come between us. It’s the carefully-colored crayon pictures that arrive in my mailbox that remind me that somewhere, to someone, I’m special not because of how I perform or what I can do. It’s the moment when my five-year-old little friend takes my hand to cross the street because she wants to make sure that I get across safely.

In a world that specializes in stealing our joy, our hope, and our worth, these are the treasured moments that give it all back. These are the moments I cherish, that give me strength. And it’s my prayer that your Christmases and your lives would be filled with these moments, too.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Kerri (Earringopia) says:

    Those are the best gifts of all, Sarah, the slender gold threads in life, but you should know what a gift you are to all of us in so many way, our very own slender gold thread.

  2. That was sweet. It’s the little things…

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