Today I read a plea from a friend who is a young mother. Her daughter, Hazel, as a toddler was diagnosed with Diabetes after nearly losing her and several months of traumatic recovery and education on childhood diabetes, they are striving to put their lives in order. Hazel, however, has to have Insulin and all the other effects of a long term disease.
Hayley, my friend, sent out a plea on social media, attached to a photo of Hazel's small cherub like hands with the word "HOPE" written on them, asking for people to send photos of their hands with the same word written on it as a reminder that when life gets hard that there are people who support and love them.
I was immediately touched. Hayley is an amazingly kind person and her husband Josh is equal in character. They are often the first to help others, offer genuine compliments and most of encourage others. I have followed their scary and tearful journey with Hazel the last several months. As many others have. My heart aches with them, I have worried about the unknown with them and have taken sighs of relief with each day of progress.
Hayley's plea was a chance for me to give back. Years ago, we too held our second child in a year that was battling to survive in this mortal life. Today is his birthday, he would be six years old. I saw Hayley's post just after we had taken Tau'aho to see the headstone of his three older siblings.
We have been there in that hopeless place. We have been the weary knees and the hands that hang down. We have battled the dark days and reached for hands to keep us from drowning in frustration, loss and sorrow. At those dark moments, other hands buoyed us up and held our hands--they gave us hope.
Little by little we again were able to dare to hope on our own. So when I read Hayley's plea on this day of all days, I knew I wanted to help too. We may be miles from Hayley and Hazel. But Ironically we are in Hawaii where I learned to love Hayley and Josh and where our three children are buried. There was no better way to celebrate all the mercy and love we have received in our hours of need.
I took markers with me to work meetings, to the store, to family gatherings and wherever I went all day. I shared Hayley's story of love and Hazel's story of determined success. Person by person allowed me to write on their hands and take a photo.
So, Hayley and Hazel, and any of you reading this that feel they have a loss of hope. I say, dare to hope. There are people who support you and literally and spiritually are willing to carry your burden with you. We may not be there to hug you and tell you ourselves, but we are here and there praying. You are never alone. Yes, it will be hard at times, but know those are the times we will strive to listen to the Spirit whisper you need our hands to help in any way we can. Here is the proof:
|Hope is having a child's hand to hold even after there was a harsh reality that you may never have that chance...|
|Hope is for all ages.|
|Hope is forging through the days when mangled and amputated fingers have to mend and heal and cause a lifetime handicap|
|Hope is about love|
|Hope reminds us all that we are unique and that is OKAY|
|Hope weathers change, trials and challenges|
|Hope offers a new perspective|
|Hope blesses those we may not even know|
|Hope is simple|
|Hope is profound|
|Hope is steady and constant when all else feels lost|
|Hope is the balance of peace in times of turmoil|