This I Believe

Victoria - South Pomfret, Vermont
Entered on November 14, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope
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This I Believe

I believe in hope. Not the bland greeting “Hope you have a nice day” version, but the hope that holds us together when life gets really tough. I’m a new convert. On September 8, 2005 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m 44 years old, squarely lodged between my aging parents and elementary school children. I needed enough hope for all of us. Enough to battle an aggressive cancer.

And then came hope, filling in the void, the chasm under my feet. It came in the expected form of family and excellent doctors. It came in the unexpected offers of everything from food to dog walking. Where did it come from? In the reciprocal nature of community. In the gift of receiving, feeling buoyed by many hands and prayers, I learned that I wasn’t going to fall into that void. Hope took the physical form of people who mobilized for my family to fight this together. Not only that there was hope for a future beyond cancer, a future of time with my family and friends, but in receiving the love of others I realized that I am connected to them in simple and profound ways. Those connections, always quietly present at the periphery of my life, are now critical to it. We all need to forge ahead, hold true to something that makes us feel just a little more in control of the present. Hope is a collective source of energy built on the giving and receiving of ourselves to each other, validating our need to move forward despite fear. Hope keeps me strong through chemo: I am living the saying “Attitude is Everything”, and that attitude is hope, not fear, not despair, not anger. This I believe.