Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

I'm kind of in a holding pattern. Until I hear about the job, I don't want to put too much effort into figuring out the logistics needed to make this move. I think I would prefer to be given a deadline, and be forced to make it happen quickly. Yet, I have to remind myself that things don't always move as quickly, or a smoothly, as I would like them to.

I am also really troubled about my daughter, and the chaos that is her life right now. It is so hard as a parent to watch them make mistake after mistake. Then watch them sink deeper and deeper into the hole of consequences. I'm not really sure what the answer is.

Like my losing my husband Michael, I ultimately have no control over the choices my children will make. I'm not sure exactly what to do. I spent the last two years battling a tiny brain tumor, that out sourced, and out smarted all of the doctors and me. In the end I see how powerless I was, and yet I fought until the end. I was determined to keep Michael alive. I was determine to keep him here with me.

I suppose the same can be said of my children. I am battling genetics. I am battling prenatal substance exposure. And I am battling unknown demons that tempt them in directions I know will only bring heartache, for them, and for me.

Our lives are so fragile. Nothing is ours to keep. This is a lesson I am being taught over and over. Yet I must find some sense of hope.

This afternoon I went for a massage. The spa that I go to had a new massage therapist, so I thought I would give him a try. When I undressed and laid out of the table he was surprised to see all the ink on my back. For those that are new here, I am a bit of a tattoo collector. He was gently tracing the tattoo of the cherry blossom tree and small sparrow, and asked what they represented. He did the same for all the other tattoos on my back. When he came to the last one, of a Kanji symbol, he stopped and traced it as well. "What does this one symbolize?"

"Hope." It rests above the monogram initials for Michael, 'M W L' and a lotus blossom. I explained that it was a reminder to have hope when my husband was battling his brain tumor. It was a valentines day gift for Michael, to show him how committed I was in getting him through his ordeal. After offering his condolences, the massage therapist said he would stop asking questions, and get on with the massage. He was very sweet. After we stopped talking I laid there thinking about hope, and wondering where it fit in my life today.

I find that I am now a bit jaded where feelings such as hope once resided. In it's place has become a sense of utility, where I just focus on concrete things I can accomplish. These days it is the simple every day tasks that require so much energy, and anything beyond them is beyond me.

I wonder how we replenish hope in our lives. Is it something that can be returned by our own efforts? Is it like grace, something that is bestowed upon us? It's not surprising that so many people in this world suffer from learned hopelessness. They must have ran out of hope long before I did. Perhaps they lost hope in prior generations.

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

If I really think about it, I would have to admit that I do believe that hope springs eternal, even when faced with adversity. I wouldn't be sitting here, writing, facing the harsh realities of life, if I didn't hope for better days.

A few Hope quotes.

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so. ~Eric Bentley

Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope. ~Author Unknown

When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown


  1. Regarding "hope", perhaps our expectations change over time. Back when Don was ill, we hoped that this or that treatment would stave off the inevitable for awhile, but also remained realistic in our expectations. Then there was that now-legendary fortune cookie that I got at the hospital while having my birthday dinner of chinese food to "celebrate"(??) on the same evening that the doctors delivered Don's prognosis after a week of tests... hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Yes, I think that jaded would be a good way to describe my thoughts on hope - and who wouldn't feel that way after what we've been through?

    That said, these days, I've down-scaled my hope expectations. Today, I'm hoping that the courier driver doesn't do what he did yesterday... take one look at my house and think it's abandoned and leave without delivering the high-tech composting toilet I ordered. (-:

    It's true that I don't have the optimism I once had, and in fact, I don't like the word hope too much anymore as I associate it with a lot of negative stuff - like...oh.. I hope I don't get cancer because now there is no one who would or could care for me the way I cared for Don until he died. Or, I hope I don't fall off a ladder and bust an arm as, boy, would that create some major problems! But as you've written above, would we be writing these posts, trying to go on with our lives - making changes, relocating to new jobs, trying to restore a sadly neglected old house, etc... if there wasn't a glimmer of hope residing in some cobwebby part of our minds? Somewhere, there must be a spark of hope faintly burning, don't you think?

  2. my extreme darkness of late notwithstanding, i hang on to my belief that my Dragon and i will be reunited. it is all the hope i have but it is all the hope i need. i have always chosen to live within Bentley's philosophy.

    peace to you, Friend.

  3. Your ending statement really resonates with me, especially today. As does the Eric Bentley quote. My Mike lost hope, lost the ability to believe that things would work out, and as a result I'm struggling through the darkest, most difficult journey of my life. But overall, I do have hope that there will be better days. I think it's just that my hopes now are for smaller things. Having lost the love of my life, the one true thing I thought I could always believe in, I don't dare to hope for anything big, at least not yet. But I can hope that as time goes on there will be more good days than bad days, and that I will find more occasions to laugh, and that one day I will feel real joy again. And I hope those things for you as well.