Presidents are human, just like everyone and deal with a variety of uncertainties and emotions in life.
- Abraham Lincoln suffered from chronic depression most of his life yet rose above it to become our greatest president.
- Franklin Pierce saw his 11 year-old son killed in front of him in a train wreck shortly before Pierce’s inauguration as president. He and his wife never recovered from this devastating loss.
- Calvin Coolidge’s teenage son died when Coolidge was president. Coolidge later wrote that “when he died the power and glory of the presidency went with him.”
- Franklin Roosevelt was crippled with polio when he was 39 years-old. Many people thought that was the end of a promising political career. But FDR persevered and figured out how to improvise even though he was unable to walk on his own. He went on to lead the nation through the Depression and World War II.
- John F. Kennedy was in constant pain from injuries received during World War II and was often on pain killers. Still, he managed to inspire the nation during his short-lived presidency.
- Thomas Jefferson was painfully shy at public speaking but used his gifted mind to express his ideas through his writing. He is most famous as the author of the Declaration of Independence.
- Theodore Roosevelt was a sickly child but became known for his robust health later having worked hard to build his body. He was devastated when his mother and wife both died on the same day. He wrote an “X” in his diary with the words “The life has gone out of my life.” He went on to be a successful president.
The list could go on. The question for all of us is how do we live well in the midst of uncertainty.
I am facing my own uncertainty. For the last almost four years, I have been dealing with a lethal and incurable cancer (metastatic prostate cancer). To help me process this unexpected development, I have written a candid and vulnerable memoir about my uncertain journey. The book is titled Reflections of an Uncertain Journey. It is available in paperback or eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold.