My Forever Friend
Saturday, August 27, 2011
While gathering reading and writing materials for distraction over the next few days, I came upon a journal entry. As I read the words written almost 8 years ago I could still feel the same intense emotion. The entry speaks to friendship, acceptance and hope. Something relevant through all time.
We have a standing appointment on Sundays. At 10AM on the second floor of the hospital, something wonderful happens in the playroom. A small, devoted group begins to gather and sit and anticipate. Long before Tori and I became a part of this group, we were aware of their presence. Our first knowledge of their existence came in the form of a joyful noise that filled the corridor. It was the sound of children. A sound filled with innocence and with glory. These children don’t see the machines, the scars, or the tubes. They don’t notice the empty space inside a piece of clothing or the distant look in anothers eyes. All they see is a child. Total acceptance. Instant friendship. These special children come together on Sunday mornings and they sing. They sing of "My Forever Friend, my leave me never Friend".
Along with the music from the accomplished pianist, there is the sound of small fingers running across the keys. An eager assistant or two await their opportunity in the wings. Sometimes even a toy xylophone plays in the background. Perfection is not priority with this group. And yet on second thought, it is perfection. It is a perfect, unconditional love. This is where the real healing begins. It begins with the children. Whatever circumstances have brought them here, and in many too many cases, whatever circumstances that leave them here, are forgotten. It is in the way they instinctively reach out to one another. "Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me, or a king upon a throne". It is their unjaded outlook, their acceptance, and ability to deal with, or make due with, whatever circumstances come their way. "There are no exceptions, we all stand in line". Regardless of what today may bring or be like, they know, tomorrow will be better. Their hearts are filled with the promise of tomorrow and with hope. "Through the darkest night, or rainbows end, my forever friend".
The Webster dictionary says the definition of hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment and, to expect with confidence. To me, hope is what sustains, what fuels. It is what makes it possible to face each day, each challenge. Emil Brunner said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life”. Hope is truly what keeps me going. It allows me to breathe and feeds the rest of my body and soul. With life there is hope. And with each new day comes the anticipation, the expectation and the confidence that this just might be the one.
There have been so many coincidences throughout this journey. Most recently, as I was writing this entry, a friend who is so inspirational and intuitive gave me a gift. It was a small pin. And on the pin written across a rainbow, was a four letter-word. Hope. I treasure that pin. I have it. I wear it. I live it. It is an outward sign of the life preserver that keeps me afloat. And, coupled with the strength received through the love and support of all, I believe it.