You wrote to me from the ICU waiting room at 1:37 A.M. this morning. In your email you told me about your daughter, fighting to stay alive. You told me that you were a mess. You said you needed a smile.
Then you finished by asking a simple question. You asked what I believe Hope is.
And you spelled it with a capital H.
Normally I wouldn’t answer a question like this because, I think we can all agree, I ain’t a very smart guy. In fact, I’m a putz. But you seemed desperate. So if my mediocre, halfcocked words can give you a few moments of calm, then, well...
Words you shall have.
So Hope. Capital H. I submit that, for this column, we pretend Hope is not merely a four-letter word or a positive feeling. Let’s make Hope tangible; a three-dimensional object. That way we can hold it. Touch it.
Let’s say that Hope (capital H) is actually a one-pound shaker of arts-and-craft glitter.
Have you ever fooled around with glitter? It’s messy stuff. Glitter is a clean
freak’s nightmare. Any second-grade teacher will tell you that glitter is a communicable disease.
Yesterday, for instance, my wife visited my cousin’s kid’s playroom where unsupervised children were playing with illegal quantities of glitter. Their sparkly hands touched my wife, who in turn touched me. And that was all it took.
Currently, there are stubborn pieces of glitter in my teeth, on my keyboard, and in my eye sockets. There will be glitter in my casket.
Because you can’t end glitter. You can’t fight it. You can’t eradicate it. Try washing your hands; glitter will laugh at you.
Hope is like glitter. It doesn’t take much. And it really hangs on.
Although I also believe Hope is fuel, like gasoline. To explain what I mean let’s use a hypothetical anecdote.
First, for this illustration, let’s pretend you have…