Saturday, August 18, 2007

Who Holds the Hope?

During the first awful years of my chronic pain condition, when every day was a desperate battle to stay a few paces ahead of the pain, and all my doctors and specialists and healers were helpless to make it go away -- one of the greatest casualties was hope. It left me and soon, I no longer sought it. In fact, it became easier to be hopeless because then I never imagined getting better and therefore didn't have to suffer the inevitable disappointment of failure.

My husband, Richard, became the keeper of hope for both of us. He wasn't faking it. As an engineer and scientist, he truly believed that, since no one could discern the cause of my pain, it could disappear as easily as it appeared. The trick was to keep trying different approaches.

I came to count on Richard to cast his net of hope over me on the dark days. It would never penetrate too deeply, but it was calming to hear his voice speak of a future without pain. His certainty became my refuge.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all." Emily Dickinson


cevan48 said...

You so benefited from Richards hope for you.
You benefited also from your trust and confidence in his devotion to you...the constancy of his presence. Didn't that buoy you too? I mention this because I have a sense of the despair you felt then.
I fear for the people who lie in pain all alone.

Butchery on Bond Street said...

A beautiful job, Barbara, and a wonderful start, this and the previous entries. Gezinter heyt zolstu mamshekh zayn, shraybn vayter mit aza hokhmes [In good health may you continue, writing with such wisdom] - Yashekoyakh, Ben Feldman

Barbara Kivowitz said...

RE: cevan48's comment:

Yes. We are lucky to have love and mutual devotion as part of our bedrock. But what really got me through some bad times was my trust in Richard's conviction that I would get better.

This might sound strange. but I also, at times, needed to believe that he was tapped into some greater universe where my healing was already guaranteed and that he way just relaying the news back to me in the dark hole where I hid out.

The mind can create potential the physical world is not yet ready to recognize.