Summer - Coeur d`Alene, Idaho
Entered on May 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope
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I believe that one should never give up on hope. I have witnessed miracles in my life, which in turn have helped me to believe in hope. Believing is the key to hope. Believing in one’s self gives the hope and inspiration needed to keep going with life’s challenges. Hope is what brings us the dreams and belief that miracles can happen. I am going to tell you a couple of special events that have happened in my life where hope was all I had. Never give up hope!

At eight years old, my mother was in a terrible car accident. She was paralyzed from the waist down; she wasn’t going to walk again. She was messed up pretty bad and rehabilitation is an ongoing process with great challenges to overcome. I still hoped that one day she would return home and life would go back to the way it used to be, with mom by our side. It was almost a full year later when she was finally released from the hospital. We had to look at life differently and re-learn the day-to-day dealings around the house. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. It taught me never to give up hope. Anything is possible if you believe in the hope, that everything happens for a reason and all will work out for the best. New challenges bring great adventures. You’ll never know what you might learn from life’s experiences if you have no hope.

My cousin Curtis was about the same age as me; we kept in close contact with each other and talked more than most cousins do. His mother was distant and his father wasn’t in the picture at all. Curtis lived with his grandparents who looked after him and took care of his needs. Every now and then, his mother would show up and take him to do something, not very often though. When his mother showed he would become very excited, happy to see her. After a while the disappointments became too great and interest in seeing her was loosing away. Sometimes he would run and hide, making me swear not to tell anybody where he was. One day his dad started calling, wanting to talk. There was word of him taking a trip to come see Curtis. Curtis never believed him. He always made promises and didn’t keep them. Then out of the blue Curtis’s dad showed up saying he’d like to take Curtis shopping for school clothes and that he’d bring him back later that night. Hours went by and no call. The next morning came and still no word from either one of them. Curtis’s grandparents contacted the police, to start a search for Curtis. Week after week went by and the police came up with nothing. We all knew by now that something terrible has happened. Months after Curtis’s disappearance, his grandparents received a call from the police department saying they had located him. All this time he had been in the state of Arkansas, (far from where he lives in Idaho) in a boy’s home. He had hung himself with his bed sheets. Along side his body a note, saying he had hoped that someone who cared about him would come for him. At the end he writes, “I am sorry I can no longer wait in this horrible place. I know that sooner or later I will be found.”

If only he would have believed in hope. I don’t even want to think of what would have happened to my mom if I had given up hope. The spirit inside you feeds on what we call hope, an expectation of something desired; something giving grounds for this; something hoped for. I never gave up hope on my mother or my cousin. I got answers, maybe not the ones I wanted but I learned to accept what is given to me and to be happy with what I have. Keep your dreams alive with hope.