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Hope the message of this holiday season

Posted Dec 29 2009 10:25am
Well I heard a very powerful message this past weekend that impacted me to my inner core.  Now I am not talking about my muscle core but my soul core.  Hope is one of the gifts of this season.  Wow, I never really thought of hope being a gift.

The definition of hope is "A confident expectation and desire for something good in the future."

I can honestly embrace the true definition of hope today, yet my faith in hope was truly tested this past year.
This time last year my family and I were contemplating our hope in my brother's future. My brother had become it seemed hopeless, he was no longer the man we remembered him to be and everything about what we knew of him was different.  My parents, my three sisters and I witnessed my brother crash through a coffee table by simply trying to put on his shoes.  We all asked, was he drunk, was he on drugs, what could be the problem?  Maybe the past year of getting a divorce had a huge toll on him, maybe that is why he failed to take a shower, or couldn't remember to bring all of his children's clothes, why he always had a headache and was often dizzy.

See my brother is a man of great accomplishments (at least to me) my brother is my only brother. So when he graduated from West Point, got his Industrial Engineering Degree while still in the Army, then after he retired from the military he earned his law degree, I marveled at his intellect and perserverance. I aspired to be half of the person he had become.

At the age of 36 he married and proceeded to have 4 wonderful children. Although he and his wife divorced he seemed ready to take on the task of being a single parent. He wanted to be a father to his children whether he was married to their mother or not. Yet he seemed to be making mistakes that didn't seem like him.  He didn't show alot of emotion (what man really does) and looked very disheveled. So my brother was never one to be perfect however his military training taught him to be presentable.  So we knew when he fell through the table it had to be something more...

After a few Dr's appts and Psychologist evaluation, it was determined he was depressed and he was put on anti-depressants.  Things didn't seem to be get any better and he in the meantime lost custody of his children, to only get a few supervised visits.  This was definitely not the man we knew or loved, he would never do anything to lose the custody of his children, there had to be something more...

My sisters with the help of their husbands took my brother to the hospital where they committed him to a Psychiatric ward.  My brother's situation had become so dire that he was living in his own filth and no longer going to work.  No one could get in touch with him because his phone was shut off.  We knew something was wrong yet we didn't think he was going crazy, he was going through a hard time and needed help, that is what we thought.

After 2 weeks in the Psychiatric ward, they released him, yet he still was off balance and he was now vomiting at the drop of a hat.  We had all hoped that he would get better however we failed to really see the true signs of what was really happening.  My parents finally after much probing and prodding of the Dr's asked for my brother to get a CAT scan and low and behold there it was, he had a tumor taking up a large portion of his frontal lobe in his brain.

Within a few days my brother was taken to a Neurologist and it was determined the type of tumor he had was most likely a meningioma, which is usually non cancerous but can be just a dangerous depending on the size.  Surgery was then scheduled for less than a week and now our faith and hope in the Dr's came into play. 

I have found this time of year a time to reflect on the year's that have past and the year's to come.  How can I change myself for the better?  The only thing that can help me make those changes is my hope in my future. 
So any changes I have to make need to be backed by my confident expectation and desires for good in the future.  When one loses hope that is when you find you have lost your confidence in a good future.  You fail to see your desires in a positive way, you lack patience in the process. Often times the hopeless find themselves contemplating their existence and if there is any good in the future.

Just recently I found out a young man of only 31 committed suicide, just 1 week after Thanksgiving.  You would think he had all the hope in the world with a new wife and two beautiful children.  Yet he found no hope in his future and left his family to grieve his loss.  Is there still hope for those left behind?  What can those little girls learn from this horrific event?
How many times have you found yourself deciding to make a change for the better.  You will embark upon a new health and wellness regime to only lose hope that you will ever change.  What most of us forget on our journey is that it takes time and patience to see your desired results.  How many times have you lost focus and hope in your desire to be healthy?
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