The Cape of Defiant Hope

19 Nov

The tsunami of grief strikes without warning, even miles from tragedy’s epicenter.

Swallowing us whole, this wave of terror and loss, tortuous heartache and helpless worry. Tumbles us until exhausted, we slam into something as jagged and harsh as the storm itself.

But solid, it alone stands fast against the waves. So we hold on.

To hope.

This hope is not warm and welcoming like a feather bolster on grandmother’s bed. Not wedding-day hope, not hope that wraps us in its arms and promises all will be okay, hush, don’t worry.

This hope stands in defiance. Obsidian, created with a hiss when unfailing love hits the icy waters of unspeakable odds. Hope as brutal as the storm itself, hope that dares us to cling to it, slicing our hands when we grasp it.

But we hold on. Partly because we have nothing else, and mostly because we know this fierce hope offers our only chance at survival, the only thing stronger than the waves.

And while those waves rage, we cling. The salt-water of doubt stings into a thousand tiny cuts. High tides of grim prognosis and unfavorable odds slam us, dare us to let go.

But we hold on.We beg humbly for mercy, or we scream angry curses, or we do not speak at all, having abandoned the idea that anyone is listening.

It does not matter. As we hold on, grace transfigures these all to become the same prayer. And it is heard.

Then at moments we feel we cannot keep our grip any longer, illuminated in flashes of lightning, in the midst of the waves, we realize something that changes everything.

Others cling with us.

That knowledge sustains us, fuels determination that we will not surrender to the storm. We wedge our bleeding hands into the crevices of the Cape of Defiant Hope, and we do not let go.

We hold on.

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11 Responses to “The Cape of Defiant Hope”

  1. monica (peapodsquadmom) November 19, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Thank you. From the bottom of my aching heart…thank you.

  2. queenofhaddock November 19, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    It’s not fair to keep this in a DM: somethings just reach all the way into the center of your being. this post did for me & it’s not just about Anissa. thx.

  3. Elle November 19, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    I have hope, I do. And like you said, sometimes I feel like it’s all I have–but all I have to do is open my eyes and look around. I’m not alone.

    Damn, you sure know how to make me all teary. xo

  4. RJ Flamingo November 19, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Dawn, this is so powerful. You must know that you’re speaking to so many more than only Anissa’s friends and followers. Beautiful.

  5. lettergirl November 19, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    First, I love all 4 of you. Really.
    Rene, you’re right. The unexpected gift of pain is that sometimes, we find something universal in it, perhaps?

  6. LeAnn November 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Wow! Just… wow!

  7. Amy November 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    You made me weep for so many reasons. In a good way.

  8. Beth November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Beautiful words. Just beautiful.

  9. darrylepollack November 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you for commenting on my blog since it led me to discover you here. I’ll be back often.

  10. ingrid November 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    I’m at a loss for words.
    ~ingrid

  11. Aunt Becky November 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    You’re beautiful.

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