Sherry Margolis: Still Standing 7 years after husband's sudden death

We all face challenges and advertisity in life: losing a job, illness, financial setbacks: it's all part of being human. Sometimes life knocks you down and it can be hard to to pull yourself back up.

But those setbacks shouldn't define us. What should, is how well we push through and overcome adversity.

I learned that, through something that happened in my own life, seven years ago when I lost my husband, Jeff Zaslow.

Jeff was a very special man. A loving husband, a devoted father, a trusted friend.

He was smart, kind, and compassionate ... with a wicked sense of humor. I think that's what made me fall in love with him: he always kept me laughing.

He was also a gifted writer. He was a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the author of several best-selling books, including "The Last Lecture" with professor Randy Pausch.

He had just published his latest book, "The Magic Room"- which he dedicated to our three daughters.

In fact, he was returning home from a book-signing event up north, in February 2012, when his car was hit by a semi-truck on an icy road.

Jeff was killed instantly.

And in that instant, my life, and my children's lives, were changed forever.

I took three weeks off, and then I went back to work. I never even considered not going back.

My dear friends and colleagues here were part of my support system. I love my job. 

My girls were old enough to be on their own and I knew I needed a reason to get up every morning. I needed to continue being me. The same person I had been, at least at work.

Everyone makes their own choices and that was the choice that was right for me.

Jeff and I were married for almost 25 years and life without him has often been very painful. My focus has been my job, my friends, and most of all, my daughters.

I want them to keep moving forward with their lives. I don't want them to see themselves as victims. Instead, I want them to feel blessed - that they were lucky to have had the best father in the world and that they'll carry his love for them, always.

I don't usually talk about these things publicly, but something happened recently that made me change my mind. A friend said something, innocently, that knocked me off my forward track.

He said "you really got a raw deal."

He meant it kindly but for some reason, it really affected me.

I started thinking, 'yeah, I did get a raw deal' and I started feeling sorry for myself. 

That lasted for a couple of weeks, and I was miserable. But then, someone else said something that really helped.

She told me that the first thing she does every day is to run through a list of things she's grateful for - including waking up in the morning.  
That flipped the switch back for me and got me back on track. 

I'm sharing this story because we all go through hardships in life. And learning how to overcome adversity, can help us build resilience and make us stronger.

I'll be talking to experts, who will give us some tools we can all use to get through adversity. And I'll bring you inspiring stories about other people who've come through it and are Still Standing.

If you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear it. Email and tell us what's keeping you Still Standing.