Hope – Chasing Stars

Hope – Chasing Stars

When I was younger, my Dad would take my hand to show me the Orion star, the most prominent and brightest of the winter constellation.  He wanted me to share in his awe of the universe, yet I was a preteen. It didn’t seem pertinent at the time.  

And yet, today the stars hold hope in my mind.  I look up at the sky and feel the strength that anything is possible with hope.

Hope destroys the weakened spirit, elevates the burdened soul, and promises a future.

So, I smile at the memory.  Have I memorized the constellations at my Dad’s wishes?  No. But I have adopted appreciation for the spectacular light show and the power of the universe to drown out the darkness.

AND, I still feel his hand holding mine coaxing me to look above for astronomical support.

This is a short post, to let you know I am still chasing stars.

© Erika K Rothwell

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Arms of Hope – Therapy

Arms of Hope – Therapy

Hope is my therapy.  Where else can such a profound sense of acceptance be felt?  It exists for all of us, gentle support that anchors our souls.  A belief and expectation of something good.

Two blue jays visited today on a branch outside my window as if to remind me of a universal smile of goodness.   A pureness that radiates from nature all around me, a perfected treasure gifted to me to view daily if I slow down enough to do so.  If I delete one “o” what remains in the word is the strength I put my hope in.  For it is in recognizing that power and glory that I accept my own goodness.  

My initial inability to rebound and cope seamlessly with loss pours life into these words.  They exist only because I still have hope.  Hope in a future, not without pain but with a gift.  The gift of believing each day, itself, is a gift. 

We wake naively without any anticipation of who we could lose in a split second, an occurrence taking only .00001157 of the entire day, changing the course of life for thousands of others. That one second does not define the life of the lost, rather it defines the implication that even a second of each day matters.

That particular second changed everything for me and many others this past week.  Except Hope did not change.  Hope remained a constant.  Life goes on because of Hope.  Hope that all happens eventually for good.  Even if the temptation is to sink low into an abyss of confusion, the universe reminds us that all is good with it and invites us to put our hope in the power harnessed within.

Strong arms of healing wrap around me gently, reminding me that my pain of loss needs hope now more than ever.

©Erika K Rothwell

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Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today in a tragic accident. Dedicated to her…she was beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

 Gaping hole devouring a sunny day  

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

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Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today. Dedicated to her…beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

Gaping hole devouring a sunny day

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

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Hope Unfolds – Pink Flowers – Day 20

Hope Unfolds – Pink Flowers – Day 20

For the past week, I watched them unfold.  A vase of tulips sat on my kitchen counter moving through one stage of intoxicating beauty to another, each day’s visual array outdoing the previous day.  And a stinging yet joyful memory was aroused.

My dad passed away this month two years ago.  He bought me flowers.  First, he asked what color I liked and I told him to choose since he was the one buying me flowers.  

He chose pink.  They were tulips, breathing a little fresh air into January after the unimaginable heartache of the holidays.  It was to be the last day he would ever choose anything for me.  

We had just left the cancer specialist office where he jovially conversed with the doctor, and still tried to beat him in an arm wrestle, with the little bit of steroid strength he had left.  

After stopping for a lunch where he ordered his final Jonnie Walker, allowed by the doctor, we decided to pick up a few groceries.  The dichotomous marital relationship between my mom and him caused regular disagreements and I was once again mediating an argument, this time about chestnuts, in the middle of Central Market.  My Dad wanted more even though we had just ordered a large box straight from the grower somewhere in the middle of the country.  And his obsession with chestnuts continued morphing into a typical battle of words that he always won.  All the while, I watched through a haze as I was still trying to process the meaning of the doctor’s words from an hour ago, “Call hospice now”.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, my Dad felt compelled to choose the first ever flowers for me.

Apparently, the large tumor was gone from his brain, but the inflammation was beginning to wreak havoc. He had survived brain surgery at the age of 86.  And this was week 3 post surgery, one day before he fell into a coma.  

The flowers lasted longer than any other tulips I had ever had.  I now look at the small glass vase holding the dried pink petals as it sits on the shelf.  Suddenly the writhing waves of loss shake me, yet the view of the new tulips I have watched daily for the past week infuse joy and hope into my tears.

Life is a beautiful yet arduous journey. It is through the unfolding of these petals, I am reawakened to the hope that he is still here somewhere with me. Although we can’t hold our loved ones forever in our arms, they live on in our hearts.

-Erika K Rothwell

An excerpt from a memoir in progress.

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