Tragedies Can Pull Families Together, Tear Families Apart

Charleston, S.C. The three pictures below tell a story. That beautiful lady on the right is my wife Beth Brannan; the mother of our three children: Lauren Brannan, Michael Brannan, and Daniel Brannan. I think tragedies and hardships can pull families together, but just as easily they can tear families apart.

12079067_1041673819197599_7890536644419182321_n  This beautiful lady is my wife Beth Brannan; the mother of our three
children: Lauren Brannan, Michael Brannan, and Daniel Brannan.

As most of you, by now, know I have been battling cancer now for four years, and Daniel has just begun his battle with cancer. I’m going to be brutally honest; part of my treatment included Hormone Ablation Therapy, which is medical term that means they give you a shot that takes your testosterone to zero.

For 18 months my testosterone was zero which, by the way, were the worst 18 months of my life–which unfortunately meant that I put Beth through a lot of hell. Up and down–off the walls I bounced. Hard on her and hard on us–but somehow we weathered the storm–but that “somehow” was really “Someone” and that “Someone” was Beth.


Two of the three men in her life are battling cancer; but even before that; six years ago I lost my job and with it we pretty much lost all of our savings and retirement: I was 61 and a half at the time. Our best laid plans and our comfortable lifestyle all unraveled. That was followed by my cancer diagnosis.

Somehow, someway despite the hurdles and struggles we clawed our way back; we downsized, actually we did whatever it took to keep us together and afloat. During that time I wrote a book Unpackin’-The Baggage of Life, that some of you may have read. It was a dark challenging time, but it was a time that led to our growth as individuals and I think as a family.


Anyway the point is that Beth that beautiful woman is a great mom, and and great wife: she has adapted and risen to every challenge. She hates to cook, despite being an incredibly good cook. To this point, and in response to Daniel’s and my cancer diagnosis… she has turned our kitchen into a “Cancer Fighting Kitchen” and the meals are actually really good.

But she has done more; she has loved and cared for each of us and still managed to look good… no not just good… she is a beautiful woman… on the inside and the out. Some have said that I married UP… I gotta’ smile when I hear that, cause I knew long before anyone ever told me… I did.

Dan Brannan
By Dan Brannan, Founder of DLB Leadership.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation ( There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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