Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hope -- More than a Town in Arkansas

Hope.  Hope is one of those words, over used, under understood.

I sort of think I get hope.  I think I understand hope and I’m pretty sure I recognize that without it life is, well hopeless.  Can you think of anything worse than being or living in abject hopelessness?  I can’t.

There are all kinds of hope.  There’s Bob Hope, the Cape of Good Hope, I hope you are well, my best hopes for you,  hope springs eternal and one of my faves, hope and change.  There’s I hope my parents are healthy, I hope my children are happy, I hope my grandchildren are safe, I hope our leaders are wise, I hope my wife is free of infection, I hope the next illness isn’t her last. 

Then there are hopes and prayers, for me, that’s the big one.  For me, hope is really nothing more, but nothing less, than a prayer, a prayer for the future; because hope is almost always about the trails we have yet to walk.

Marty, just by surviving the two strokes and a myriad of other bodily insults, has inspired hope in me.  Yes, I hope she stays healthy; I hope she continues, even ten years past the events, to improve, to get smarter, to get healthier, and to get stronger.   Mostly she simply lives and breathes and shows me that hope does spring from rather dark times.   

What Marty has taught me, what she lives every day is very real, very tangible hope.  She takes her own hopes and mine with her everywhere, every day.

Hope, and maybe a little bit of denial, is what sustained our family in the darkest days of our journey.  Hope is what I had when I looked at her broken body too close to death and whispered, don’t you leave me and she said, I’m not ready yet.  Hope is what she had, we had, as we came home and started a forever journey in recovery from the strokes.  Hope, sometimes, is all we or any of us have.

Hope is a new born baby, hope is a smile in the face of adversity, hope is starting anew or continuing an old trail, hope is at the bottom of the mountain and at the top, hope is for all time for all people.  Hope is what keeps all of us taking the next step, hope is how we battle fear, how we battle our own demons, hope is how the least of us continue their struggle to be the best of us.

When I look at my children and grand children I have hope for what lies ahead for them and for our family.  I am amazed at how smart, how dedicated, how loving, how strong they all are.  They will have trials, they have had trials, but they will move forward and carry my hopes, and their hopes forward through their lives.

I look at my bride, I see her as she is, I remember her as she was and I have hope, I believe in her, I believe in her life and our life, and I hope and know that love is there and we are better than okay.

Hope is not magical thinking.   Hope is a serious process about real things, future things.  Hope precedes action and action fulfills hope and all of that makes life worth living.

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