Saturday, October 17, 2009

Challenging Hope

With the beginning of winter and a damp fall that hinders the spirit; this is always a rough time of year for our family. Each day in October serves as a reminder and a heavy pressure that is coming into the 13th year, the death and loss of Julie. Some years, it seems like a tender wound freshly made while other times it is as if an indefinite amount of time has passed. Clear dreams remind me of how she looked, laughed and cried. Daylight hours she fades from my sight like a wisp of fog. Whether or not we realize or not, her spirit held our family together and sometimes tears us apart. The challenges of hope are knowing that she is safe and like my father reminding us occasionally to "keep the faith."

In my class at the John P Murtha Center for Pain, I can see the tangible signs of faith and hope. The challenges faced within this group are various illnesses that in and of themselves would prove dauntless. Take those challenges and multiply them by 20 or so and yet when you come into the room there is no disheartening spirit. Our Fear baskets are not always full in this room, but our Dream baskets always have a few attainable goals that might seem simple to an outsider. The biggest point to recall is that we are all Alive, able to make choices and that we also have made it through another day.

Do I wish that Julie would have chosen differently......? I have never waivered in my response to my own challenge of hope....she would have found people in this room that she could have connected with in joy and pain. I cannot help but feel that there are times she joins us in the room and vibrates some hope and love in our direction. I hope she can continue to guide me to offer art and hope to this group.

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