What does hope mean to you? What do you think it means to be hopeful? Is there such a thing as false hope?
I was hopeful when I was pregnant with Frankie in 2013. From the moment the pregnancy test turned positive I had hope in my heart, hope that I would finally be a Mummy after years of miscarriages and disappointments every month. I hoped I would get to six weeks, then eight, then ten, then 12, and I did. I got to 20 weeks and found out I was going to have a baby boy. I then got to 23 weeks, and the first bombshell was delivered. My son had a severe cleft lip and palate, and talipes.
Bombshell after bombshell after bombshell was given to me from that point onwards, and yet even when he was born sleeping, even when I held my son in my arms, even during his funeral, through the worst time of my life, I hoped that this wouldn’t be it. I hoped I would still hold a son or daughter in my arms one day.
In 2014 the bombshells kept happening, every month it was something else, sometimes it was more than one thing. Last May in particular was rough – I suffered another miscarriage, my father in law’s health declined rapidly (he died on June 5th) and my cousin Brenda died and I had to attend her funeral. There wasn’t a single month where something didn’t happen.
But I never lost hope. There were times where I felt that I wanted to give up, that I wanted to just curl into a ball and never get out of bed again. There were times I felt that life was futile, that bad things were always destined to happen to me, and I wasn’t sure if I could get on with life and cope. Just one thing would have been enough to floor someone, and as each thing happened, each death, each miscarriage, each betrayal by so-called friends, each funeral – the little bit of hope I had was slowly eroded away.
But it never went away completely.
I kept the tiniest bit of hope inside me, and I refused to become bitter, twisted and negative as a result of everything that happened to me. For every friend that betrayed me, there were several who were kind, caring and went above and beyond to help me. For every death and funeral that happened, there was birth and new life to love and hold. Even through redundancy and rejection in my career there were new opportunities, new beginnings and new challenges to undertake and to face.
I think that no matter what happens to us, we have to have hope, we have to cling on to hope, and we have to keep going no matter what. The easiest thing in the world is to give up and give in, and sometimes you have to be realistic and accept what is, as some things can never be changed or altered. I cannot bring Frankie back, no matter how much I want to, for example.
I’d like to know what hope means to you, and if you think there is such a thing as false hope. Please leave a comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.