A Ray of Hope
Hope is a funny thing . You can’t see it or touch it but you see it all around us . Many people have so little that all they have is hope. They hope for a better day. They hope they will get better and recover from illness. They hope they will get a job. I could go on and on. All of us seem to hope for a better day no matter what our circumstances . Yes even people with money.
Johnny Cash once said “ having money just means having to worry about everything except money “. I’m sure with the present state of the world economy there isn’t anyone who isn’t hoping things will improve.
I sometimes call Hope God’s eternal carrot . Through out life it seems hope for a better day gets us up in times of struggle and keeps us going when there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hope and faith have one very similar trait . That is they are the only two things in life that no one can take from you . By that I mean in both cases you have to make a conscious decision to give them up . Every thing else in life can be taken from us . Our loved ones can die, our money can disappear , we can lose our health and friends can disappoint us or let us down .
As we go through life our youth and enthusiasm are eroded by time and disappointment to the point all we have left is hope and/or faith . We become cautious and wise and our experience can become our handicap . A old gentleman once said. “ Young people they go ahead and do things before they realize they can’t be done. “ I remember when I drew my real estate sign home on my kitchen table and said I was starting a real estate company. Most people thought I was crazy but I was too young to realize it couldn’t be done . I had just read the book “Think and Grow Rich” and had enough faith and hope for 10 people. I knew I was going to succeed. Little did I realize that was the easy part .
You see our family had always been poor . I thought if I could get a business going I could help my family become better off . When I started my business I was 27 years old . My father had died when I was seven . We lived in a little house in Nine Mile River and Mum received $80 dollars a month widows allowance. Mum had 4 boys and I believe her rent was $40 a month . No power , plumbing and just a wood stove. Mum married again and when I was 19 our step father died and now there were 6 boys . My 5 younger brothers were ages 17, 11,8,3 and 2. As the oldest I became responsible along with my mother for my brothers upbringing. I loved my brothers dearly and have wonderful memories of those years.
I married my wife Peggy when I was 22 and my brothers were a big part of our lives the years flew as they do and Peg and I had two daughters of our own . My first adult experience with losing hope and narrowly clinging to faith was when my brother Brian was killed in a car accident . He was only 13 and like a son to me . My mother never got over this tragic event but life doesn’t go away. We moved on . I tell this to outline some of my background and life experiences to help you understand the back ground of this story. You see I learned early in life that faith and hope are all you can rely on to get you through this life . It started for me when I was 7 when my father drowned and my grandmother took me in her room and explained why I had to have faith and go on with my life. I lost my mother in 1996 and although hard my faith carried me through . I didn’t realize my biggest test was yet to come . In June 2003 my brother Ron only 48 went into a coma and as a result had brain damage and required 24 hour care. My wife Peg and I kept him at home for 3 years hoping and praying he would get better but he didn’t and is in the hospital and as his guardians we are fighting a heartless bureaucracy that only cares about money. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to look after someone you love and hope for a recovery that doesn’t come. Then the last straw I lose my brother Rog . He calls me Thursday evening and his last words to me were “I love you Luke with all my heart “ . The next day he’s gone. Also gone are my faith and hope . I’m not sure how I can continue to function . I operate in a fog running my business and carrying out the motions but I’m dead inside . My brothers were my best friends. All through life we had been there for each other. I was consumed with guilt. I would sit alone and cry uncontrollably . Nothing was making sense . In my mind I had failed miserably at life and any business success meant nothing . I was a failure and my spirit had been broken .
I decide I have to get away alone and think . I go to our cottage to spend the night. Alone I read my bible and pray for help. In desperation I cry out . “Rog let me know if you’re okay . Knock three times if you hear me like this. I knock three times on the table and wait . Nothing happens and I pray some more and go to bed . The next morning I hear a knock and then two more . I get up and go to the door and nobody is there. I look at the clock and it’s 6am. Then I realize . Roger always got up at 6am. I thought. I must have been dreaming but I feel better. I go home and tell my wife the three knock story and she agrees I must have been dreaming. That night I go to bed at home . The next morning again I’m awakened by a knock at the door. Three of them . I get up and go downstairs and no one is there. I look at the clock and it’s 6am . Was I dreaming . Was it real . It didn’t matter I had found my ray of hope and my faith was restored and I was okay. You see you have to have faith . Even with all the bad economic news I’m hoping 2013 will be a better year and I have faith it will.
Dec 19th 2008
Updated June 2013