A remarkable love story that pulls on your heartstrings and leaves you inspired. A page turner that gives a first-hand look into the lives of a young couple madly in love and eager to start their lives together, only to have it all halted by a cancer diagnosis. With no clear road map on how to navigate their new normal, James and Anabel proceed into uncharted territory, hand-in-hand, with the love of their families and their faith in God to guide them.
Unfortunately, millions worldwide have experienced the pain of losing somebody. Every loss is not the same; every person that has left our planet has left behind families and friends. Each loss is an apples-to-oranges comparison. What I mean by that is that being offered someone’s condolences is nice, but don’t let them compare their “friend of a friend” to your pain. Accept their comfort, but realize nobody knows how to speak to someone who has just gone through something traumatic, as you’ve gone through. I realize that only people that have experienced pain in its worst form can identify others that have pain behind their eyes and have been traumatized like yourself. Everybody goes through their pain differently, and there isn’t a textbook to help you get over the pain of loss.
There is a cycle of grief that is the closest I’ve seen to understanding the stages that you will be going through.
• Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
• Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
• Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
• Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
• Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
• Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.
Losing a loved one is a shocking and traumatic experience. Sometimes it can hit your right away; sometimes it can hit you months later, like it did to myself. My best piece of advice is to take your time with each stage and realize that just because the list is in that order, that doesn’t mean that’s the order you will experience it. It goes out of order sometimes and rearranges itself enough to make your head spin. Everybody is different, and please, do yourself a favor and take as much time as you need. Don’t rush the process and use the process to heal. It may be one year later and I’m writing this book about my fiancée, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve healed. I’m far from it, to be honest, and I’m not exactly sure I will ever heal or be able to be in a relationship again. It is hard to come to grips with the fact that I found my soulmate, my best friend, my lover, and to have it all in one person, and I planned my life around this person and my happy ending will never come to fruition. It haunts me every day as I replay my life decisions over and over again endlessly. I don’t have any regrets about any decision I made during this process, because it was toward my goal of what I thought the perfect relationship should be. Now that has been taken away from me. I could never be resentful of anyone or ask, “Why did it have to be her? Why did this have to happen to me?” Because of my faith in God, I know this was a part of the plan. I knew Anabel would spark my brain and give me the baton to keep the marathon going and be able to help out so many around the world with our story. I know what I just said sounds crazy and may upset some, but I have a certain foundation of faith in God, and I trust his plan and refuse to let the pain I suffer on a daily basis—and the pain of her family and mine—to happen for no reason. I refuse to walk around with the weight of the world on my shoulders, with sadness, with depression and pain, when all Anabel ever did was bring happiness to anybody she ever encountered, although I have every right in the world to. I want everybody reading this to know that life and anything you experience is about perspective. This loss I will speak of could keep me in a dark place for the rest of my life, and I could stay there and it would be justified. Not a single soul on this planet could tell me otherwise. The world understands the aftermath of the loss of a loved one, and it comes with certain expectations. The world and the people who live on it understand that the one in pain will be a full bottle of emotions: full of anger, sadness, depressed, pissed off. That’s just a few of the emotions, and it’s not just limited to those. You can experience so many, and it’s okay. What I want to do with this story of Anabel and me is give you a different perspective on the life that we shared together, a glimpse of the real horrors and terrors that come along with the process of battling cancer. I think everybody understands the realities that come with battling cancer, such as weight loss, baldness, chemotherapy, and tiredness, but so many, including myself, don’t understand the true terror that comes along with it. I’ve lost so many family members to different kinds of cancer, but adults had shielded me from the horrors of it, and to be in the trenches with my partner was truly horrifying. I want to open the world’s eyes to the territory that comes with cancer, to make you think, Oh yeah, I didn’t
even think of that. I want your brain to be there constantly running as you read this story and think even when life was stormy, they somehow were able to find the light through the pouring rain.
Thank you, James Ruvalcaba and RABT Book Tours
About the author
Hello, I’m James Ruvalcaba. I began writing because I wanted to honor my fiancee Anabel’s legacy and to be a testimony of God’s goodness. On a personal level , I am a family man and hold them near and dear to me. I am a down to earth person that loves interactions and conversations.I believe the more we communicate the more we see the beauty of God’s previous workings. Prior to being a writer , I worked with the special needs population for 10 years. I wanted to give back to the community and assist in achieving a higher quality of life as a tribute to my Sister who suffered from disabilities herself.