I think Marian Zimmer Bradley had it right when she said “The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination”.
In life we tend to give up on things. Whether they be small or big, inconspicious or momentous. Sometimes we say “Well who cares anyway?”. Other times we tell ourselves there’s no point in hoping, because there’s really no point, but it’s really the fear of being disappointed.
I can recall an event in my life where hope gave me strength to bare what, to me, was scary.
One early spring morning, my family and I were preparing to leave to my grandmother’s house. I remember hearing the laughter of my sister and brother while they played on the Nintendo and seeing my mom throw on various number of shirts before finding just the “right one”. My dad was outside washing hte car, since he wanted to make it nice and clean before we left. It was Easter! My favorite holiday, and I couldn’t wait to go hunt for eggs and hit my family on their heads with confetti. Only we never did make it to my grandma’s.
Instead we spent that whole morning and almost all night in the hospital. I later discovered my dad had sustained a head injury from a can that exploded on his forehead. But at that time nobody would tell me what had happened to him. So I find myself in a torrent emotions. I was afraid because I didn’t know what would happen, sad because I didn’t want to lose my dad, and helpless because the only thing I could do was hope.
But it’s hope that allows a person to stay strong. To lift up their chin and say ‘I can do this’.
In the waiting room I hoped he would get out of surgery alive. I hoped he would still be there at night to give me a kiss and I hoped I would get the chance to tell him how much I loved him again.
My dad eventually returned home from the hospital. It took a couple of days for him to fully heal, but we were all there to help him. The hope I carried within myself that day probably wasn’t the reason he survived. It was purely medical. But hope helped not only me, but the rest of my family to brave thorugh the day. And hope was there again when my cat died the next day and when my parents decided to get a divorce.
Hope may not be able to change the course of events. This I know. But hope can change your view on life, it can help you realize that there’s more to life than the pain of today even though the scars of yesterday remain. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.