Yesterday I asked my husband Alex to look on his computer for pictures I could share with all of you. When he opened this photo of the waterfall at Yosemite National Park it took my breath away.

I so clearly remember that day. We had ridden a shuttle bus to the top of the park and then we hiked eleven miles down to the floor of the valley and back to our car. We had stopped for a snack when he took this photo. I so clearly remember the feel of the fallen log we used as a bench. The elements had stripped it of its bark and left the surface as smooth as a river rock. I remember the scent of the oranges as I peeled them and the warmth of the sun on my back. But mostly I remember how much I enjoyed being with Alex. We always have interesting, easy conversations when we’re hiking. We enjoy comfortable silences, although we are constantly pointing something out to one another and excitedly saying, “Wow! Look at that!”

Later yesterday I felt like crying when we went for a walk in our neighborhood. His back and leg pain is so intense right now that we had to turn back after walking about a quarter of a mile. When we returned to the house we wrote a letter to the doctor at the pain management clinic and practically begged for him to book a procedure time for Alex now rather than having to wait another week for the consultation appointment and then another two weeks for the procedure.

This morning at breakfast I told Alex I was feeling grateful that we’ve had so many wonderful adventures together. He said, “I refuse to be unhappy and I refuse to give up.” He fully expects to find a solution to his back problem and a way to overcome, or at least manage the pain.

I so admire his courage and his positive attitude, and I’m praying that we will find some relief for the pain. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on recalling the fun things we have shared, and I am not going to assume that all of our adventures are in the past.
Elaine K Sanchez is an author, speaker and co-founder of, a video-based caregiver support program. Contact her directly at