In Them, Hope Is Defined

How can you tell someone to keep hope alive when all they’ve ever seen is an
empty ball park? No innings. No bat. No ball. No players. No fans. If not for
the wind blowing, the sound of a pin drop would be dominant. How do you persuade
another to reach for the stars when the pitch dark clouds blocks every view? How
do you convince the hurt to keep walking in the absence of a map or a bystander?
Look beyond the clouds, they say. Tears dry faster in the sun. But initially,
there is no sun. Even daylight resembles nightfall. The minutes high-5 the hours
and the weeks hug the months celebrating the habitual flow of no progression. So
if life never reflects a rainbow, then how can we continue to bear today and
expect tomorrow to be any different? To answer that question is to simply say,
if I stop, he stops. His heart beats with mine. If my heartbeat starts falling
behind, it is an obvious consequence what happens next. This awakening didn’t
come at the stroke of midnight after the diagnosis was given. I’m 10 years in,
and that’s not a bragging right. There’s so many other families who have
traveled harder and longer – and my hat goes off to them. My 10 years only
states that I have been punched with the unexpected….crawled….stumbled…ran….fell…grabbed
hold to the pint-sized strength remaining….stood….and walked. I still see
the pity behind the smiles. I feel the unwanted stares of curiosity, distaste,
dislike & “I’m sorry.” I hear the unsolicited advice & comments from ones who
have not a clue what this journey entails. Guilt, fear & frustration are the
different hats I wear and loneliness tends to house them. Some days dreams
drown in reality, and then there are days when the present posts a sign that
says “this is what the future looks like.” And yes, I have those wonderful
moments where my son said his first words at 4….rode a horse…tied his
shoes….rode a bike….tried a new food….played baseball at home with the
family for the first time and hit a home run…. — the portrait of who he is
and what he has accomplished –society doesn’t see what you’re proud of. They
don’t see the true soul and the behind the scenes that has gotten him from point
A to point B. They see the delays, meltdowns and the uphill battle to fully
understand…..and from there they have labeled, judged and further have placed
doom and gloom on any chance of a path being successful. So, I get why hope is
not a sidekick from the beginning. Even the middle is blurry. But life has
taught me to be grateful for the joys along the way, no matter how rare they
come or how diminutive they may be. If you leave behind the steps, you’ll never
appreciate the growth. I’m still traveling the same road but now experience is
on one side of me, holding my hand and instinct is on the other side. I realized
that hope can’t be in the rear where it’s hard to see. It has to be two or three
steps in front of me, showing me what possibility looks like. I can tell you to
have hope and to hold onto the efforts, the achievements, and the strides but
it’s easier for me to say “look at your child.” In them, hope is defined.

Thanks for listening,

Portia

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