Running up right along side the constant stream of fear and foreboding that can come with having cancer, I’ve lately been caught up in the additional, totally panic-inducing fear and foreboding of the recession. Problematically, I’ve also recently discovered that I’m not managing stress the way I used to. If this spells frog-in-a-blender to you, then imagine how it feels on the inside: I’m looking everywhere for this person who used to be Ms. Grace-Under-Pressure and all I can find is Ms. Sky Is Falling.
When you have cancer, having hope is essential to survival. And hope is a rare commodity these days, though yesterday it seemed to be available in more abundance than usual. Watching Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the U.S, I was handed a nice little reminder of what hope actually looks like. Not just the historical significance of the swearing-in of the first African American President, nor the messages of hope that he delivered in his speech. It wasn’t his confidence or the cadence of his words; it wasn’t the poem or the anthem or any of the other elements of the ceremony. For me the it was the faces of the Obamas’ two young daughters, beaming their non-stop smiles out at the world, full of joy and light and not a speck of fear or foreboding anywhere near either of them.
You can’t stage the kind of open happiness that their faces conveyed. Maybe it was just their pride in their father and their faith that he can make the world right again. And maybe having that kind of faith is just the other side of the hope coin. Either way, I could use some of what they’ve got right about now.
For more about hope (okay, it’s actually a totally biased op-ed piece about the legacy of George W. Bush, but it’s worth watching) check out this short TV clip: