By Michele W.
Since Jenna’s death, I have learned to hope. Or at least I try to hope, because I don’t know what else to do. I know that life will never be the same without my daughter, and so I need a glimmer of hope to continue on without her.
A few days ago I was shopping for a birthday present. It was for my son’s friend, a little girl turning five. My daughter died when she was five, and I was overwhelmed with the task of looking at pink and purple and little girl things. I wandered away from the toy section and saw a t-shirt with the word “HOPE” across the front in bright yellow, all capital letters. I was strangely drawn to this shirt—I felt like I needed to own this shirt. I felt like I needed to wear this constant reminder across my heart, so that whenever I see my reflection I can instill in my heart that word—HOPE.
I HOPE that the remaining three in my family can hold on to each other tightly. I hope that the problems in my marriage caused from years of stress, grief, and loneliness can be resolved. I hope that we can stay together because we love Jenna and we share special memories of her. I hope that Braden will work through his own grief and that he will always love his sister, and that I can be the loving, patient, and attentive mother that he needs.
I HOPE that someday God will give me a glimpse of what Jenna’s new life is like. I hope that even though Jenna did not want to die and leave us, that now she feels free from hospitals and tubes and pain. I hope that someday I’ll understand why God chose to allow my daughter to experience such suffering and die, and that I’ll know that prayers offered up for her were answered.
I HOPE that a cure for cancer will be found soon. No parent should have to choose to poison their child with chemotherapy and radiation, in hopes that she will get to live. No brother should have to wish that his sister was alive so they can play together. No family should have to bury their child.
I HOPE that I will survive. My heart is broken and aching. My smiles are forced. Nothing in life is definite anymore. I now live day to day.
I HOPE ….