sara jane badertscher.

carlsbad, california. | wife. widow. aunt. mother. grandmother. librarian. event planner. volunteer. mentor.

What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, we were told that it was terminal; but the oncologist said that she was confident he would live a few more years. My husband and I took different routes in handling this news. He said that he did not want to make a big deal of it and that he did not want to tell anyone but our immediate family. I, on the other hand, wanted to talk to everyone I knew, especially those who had dealt with similar news, so that I could understand how to cope going forward.

We spent a lot of time together, as we navigated through chemo/radiation sessions and doctors’ visits. I wasn’t sure that I would have the strength to be a caregiver, but I was willing to try. After three years of treatment, the doctor finally said that there was nothing more she could do for him. Within a couple of weeks he started hospice, which meant that he would be pretty much confined to our home. Fortunately, we had family and outside help during this time, but we felt it was the right thing to do. I am so glad that we chose that route because I was able to be with him 24/7. Since he passed away, I am now learning how to live on my own for the first time in my life. Life is a challenge, and I believe that I can handle it.

What dreams and/or goals have inspired your success?

In 1970, my husband Ned and I took our first big vacation when we drove from Ohio to our destination, California. We had an amazing trip and as we were leaving California, Ned said, “Some day we are going to live there.” My cynical side said, “sure honey,” but my adventuresome side said, “I hope it is some day soon!” Two years later, we packed up our house and moved to Sunnyvale, CA, because Ned had found a position with a company in Palo Alto that needed his expertise. That was the best decision we ever made as it transformed our lives.

How do you keep moving forward?

I feel fortunate that Ned and I had 48 years together. We both used to say that we wanted to be the one who died first because we didn’t want to be left alone. Unfortunately, that is not a choice that we get to make. I am looking forward to this next phase of my life. So many innovations have occurred since I was born. I’d like to see what the future holds for my loved ones.

  • Sarah Albritton
    Posted at 22:37h, 17 September

    What a wonderful story about taking a chance and true love. Losing a spouse has got to be so heartbreaking, especially when they are so sick but sounds like they had a great life together. Thanks Jess for choosing such inspirational women! Makes me realize to always be open to the next chapter.

  • Martha Nuss
    Posted at 00:57h, 18 September

    A lovely story about loving and losing and still finding the strength and courage to go forth with such a positive attitude. Love it.

  • Gloria
    Posted at 01:34h, 18 September

    I think it takes amazing courage to take those huge leaps of faith – isn’t it wonderful when you do it and still have hopes and dreams to look forward to?

  • Jeff
    Posted at 01:49h, 18 September

    Aunt Sara your beautiful self comes through in your actions.

  • Jacqui
    Posted at 02:49h, 18 September

    Such strength and courage is rare. I’m inspired by your spirit!

  • Marty Lindsay
    Posted at 12:25h, 01 October

    Jess- I am loving your blogs. I love people and love learning from them. I think folks like you write about are angels sent to help us along. Thanks so much for doing this. You are an inspiration. Hugs!

  • Kim Stomber
    Posted at 13:32h, 02 October

    Heart-breaking, inspirational, and optimistic. Beautiful!

  • Mary Jane Hook
    Posted at 19:00h, 03 October

    Your strength is truly inspiring.