The Impossible

The Impossible
I’m thrilled to participate in a sweepstakes sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, which premieres Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery. 

Life is hard. We all know that, right? When you’re going through a rough patch, all you have to do is look around and see someone in more dire circumstances than you.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs during the past ten years, starting in 2003 with my husband’s liver transplant, followed by his two years of chemo for Hepatitis C treatment, and ongoing health issues since then.

Right now, he’s on the list for a kidney transplant, thanks to a botched aortic aneurysm repair in 2009. During the procedures, the surgeon placed the stent in the wrong place and closed off the arteries to both of his kidneys. One kidney is completely gone and the other is operating anywhere from 20 to 30 percent, depending on the day.

We’ve also lost a ton of people during the past decade – my dad, aunt and cousin; my husband’s dad, sister and grandma; and numerous friends. Back to that “life is hard!” thing.

But you know what? You keep getting up, doing what you need to do, and moving forward in whatever way you can. During the past ten years, I’ve somehow managed to build a nice little business that includes this site you’re reading –  Reel Life With Jane – and my syndicated family movie & TV reviews.

In fact, the work has kind of kept me sane and allowed me to focus on something other than my struggles. Well, and there’s the fact that I’m now the sole breadwinner in the family – that’s also very motivating!

There are plenty of cinematic stories of resilience and courage, too. Three that spring to mind:

1. “The Impossible”: The true story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Naomi Watts’ character survives against incredible odds after she and her son are swept into the storm. Read my review here.

2. “127 Hours”: James Franco plays real-life mountain-climber Aron Ralston. While descending down a rock wall in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, he becomes trapped by a large boulder and ends up cutting off his own arm. Dang!

3. “Open Water”: Based loosely on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, this movie depicts the harrowing trials of a married couple stranded in the middle of the ocean when their scuba diving group accidentally leaves them behind. Panic, dehydration, swarming jellyfish, and circling sharks are just a few of their challenges.

Everyone struggles with something, no matter how rich or poor, young or old you are. No matter where you live in the world or who your family and friends are.

Who or what gives you the courage to face your fears and challenges in life? Answer below, and each comment will automatically be entered to win a $500 SpaFinder gift card! 

And I’m not just asking for the sweepstakes below (though you’ll be in the running!) – I really want to know how you get through the tough times. We can all help each other.  

This sweepstakes is sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, premiering Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c. Told in their own words, victims reveal how they fought their attackers and survived against amazing odds.

Learn more at and empower yourself with five life-saving tips at


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by email. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/14/13 – 8/28/13.

For more true stories of courage and survival, check out Investigation Discovery’s new series, “Surviving Evil,” airing Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at 10/9c. The series offers empowering, true-life stories in which the victims of violence fight back against their attackers and survive, against the odds.

And be sure to visit the Investigation Discovery: Surviving Evil brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ true stories of courage and survival and find more chances to win!


  1. […] Reel Life With Jane$500 SpaFinder Gift Card Giveaway: Overcoming the Odds – What Gives You …Reel Life With JaneI'm thrilled to participate in a sweepstakes sponsored by Investigation Discovery's new series Surviving Evil, which premieres Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery. Life is hard. We all know that, right? When you're going …See all stories on this topic […]

  2. I totally agree, life is hard. But as you said, it’s up to us to make the most out of it. Glad you build up your strength and business along the ups and downs in life.

    My kids and my family are the ones who give me the courage to face my fears and challenges in life! They are my everything. 🙂

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  3. I wouldn’t be able to make it through the tough times or the tough days if it wasn’t for my supportive husband, parents, and friends. My faith is also what keeps me going!


  4. My kids always make me want to be the best I can be and never quit. I also look to my Grandmother she was an incredible woman who raised eight children on her own. I have my own story of facing evil and am just glad I had family to help me and that I and my children survived.

  5. My children, my husband. Whenever I’m in a bad way, he will remind me of those who love me, one by one, now including my grandkids. It’s like a litany that gives me strength and makes me feel better.

  6. Love. Love is everything. Having a really great husband and two amazing dogs help so much. Our last 5 years or so have been nonstop worry / illness / death in the family on many fronts. It isn’t easy, but what’s that old proverb … get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8.

  7. The courage I have comes from within, and all the past experiences where I had to “sink or swim.” Knowing that I can, indeed, swim keeps me buoyant and confident that I will have the strength and courage to face just about any obstacles that come into my path.

  8. I honestly don’t know where courage comes from. Most days I think it’s Darwinian — the genetic code that wills the body to survive in the face of adversity. Then there are the days when I’m not even sure that’s enough. I guess knowing that people are depending on me for support and love keeps me going.

  9. We’ve had some rough years, too, and I have to agree that my courage comes from within. If I cannot reach down and pull it out on any given day, I meditate or take long walks with my dogs to calm my inner soul and that usually gives me what I need to find my courage again.

  10. I wake everyday and remind myself how fortunate I am to still be here and that I have it pretty dang good. I think of people in the world whose kids are dying of hunger or who face the threat of war every day.
    I also try to accept that I am not exempt from loss, aging, sickness and, eventually, the big D. These are constants in all of our lives, and that collective suffering it’s what bonds us all together. That’s what allows me to face hard times: the knowledge that there is no other choice. You either do your best or you give up. Giving up only makes misery worse, so the first option is the only option.

  11. My mother, who is a breast cancer survivor, gives me courage and strength to overcome any obstacle!
    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  12. What gives me courage is motivation from someone I really lookup to in a state of which they have been through a similar situation that I’ve been through and over come it, I also gain courage from reading inspirational article like yours to push myself to new heights and beyond my limitation.

  13. Hi Jane,

    Really touched to read this story.
    Sometimes life really takes you for a patchy ride.
    Determination is the key to clear the bumpy nature of life.
    Wishing all the best.


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