I have been thinking a lot lately about hope. I think about so many times that I have felt hopeless and looking for direction in my life. Feeling so deeply sad about all of my personal losses that piled on so quickly that I felt as if I was drowning in a hopeless state of being.
So Many losses in a short amount of time, parents, my husbands parents, my sweet grandmother, our beloved dog, and then a catastrophic fire that devasted our entire community, all within a couple years time.
It broke me. But yet, somehow through all of that loss, I found hope and clung to it like a flimsy reed on the ocean floor. I swayed in the current of grief and eventually found my way back to the shore and on to solid ground. So much to be grateful for and so many lessons learned. Hope was always there waiting for me, like an old friend, saying “I am here with you always, welcome back” she said.
I recently cared for a man who had lost his beloved wife for over seventy years. He was the one who was on hospice and she cared for him so tenderly and bravely. Her health was rapidly declining, as often happens with caregivers, putting themselves on the back burner, while caring for their loved ones. She unexpectedly passed away. He expressed deep sadness but also anger. So may emotions were shared. We both shed a few tears and afterwards he took a deep breath and smiled at me through his tears. My heart melted with that smile.
This brave man said the me “You know I have had many losses and have suffered greatly during my life, but I always had one thing. It doesn’t cost a thing and you can share it with anyone at anytime. I always had HOPE.”
He shared how he was born during the depression years and that times were tough, really tough, going to bed many nights hungry and cold. He mentioned losing so many family members and friends during that time. He said that he never lost faith or hope during those difficult times and that those two things were what kept him moving forward each day.
He said that he has always been a good sleeper because he loved to dream and build things in his dreams. As a child, he would say to himself “I am going to build a bridge tonight in my dreams”, and he did. In fact he built many bridges, buildings and dams in his dreams but made those dreams become a reality, becoming an accomplished engineer, building many beautiful structures over his lifetime. He shared, “I always had hope, thats what got me through all of those hard times and will get me through this difficult time right now.”
He smiled again. My heart opened up wider that day. I thanked him, placed my hand over my heart and the other one on his hand. His presence and words moved me deeply.
I returned to my car after our visit, and cried, as I often do nowadays. It has become my safe space to release all of the tears that I have saved up from the day. Not always tears of sadness, but oftentimes tears come from deep gratitude and humility that I am getting to do this work.
I place my hand on my heart and smiled. I raised my eyes up towards the sky and silently sent a thank you to the heavens, as I know who is orchestrating this day.
My wish for you, my dear friends, is that you find Hope each and every day. Hope is free and there is plenty to go around, it’s actually contagious. I hope you catch it and keep it but also share it and your beautiful hearts with the world.
I wish you much love and Hope for today and always!