My Journey

Thinking About Hope – and How You Hold Onto It

Feeling down today. My head hurts, my heart hurts and I just want to curl up into a ball. I’m sad, worried about my children, and trying hard to reconnect to hope. I came across a post I wrote this past Easter. I think it sums up how hard it is to hold onto hope when things never seem to get better.

Living like this is exhausting – the grief, the worry – these feelings are my constant companions. I’m trying every day to have the strength to keep moving forward with my writing, my goal of creating a life out of helping people, of taking my experiences and serving others. It’s hard to learn how to open myself up everyday, to write about things that are so painful, but I truly believe that’s my purpose. How I can hopefully help others. Surviving is meant to be a temporary measure, not the default state of your life. It’s the only way forward that I see for myself.

Here’s my post from April 2020 –

Happy Easter! It’s been over 6 months since my last post and things have continued to be so hard with the children. The great news I am always hoping to share, well, it has not happened yet. For a month now our public visitation has been suspended. With no options left, the courts closed and no willingness from Tag to fix this awful situation, we have been forced to move our visits to the NCR trail. If you had asked me what could be worse than sitting in public, since 2017, for 8 hours a week, as your only way to spend time with your children – I would have empathically told you that nothing could be worse.

Our schedule is gone. Instead we meet at the NCR Trail if the weather cooperates. As longer as it’s not raining, we’re meeting. If it’s cold, windy, or we’re not in a walking mood, we sit in my car. I make a special snack and stock my car with games, comics, blankets and we try and just enjoy our time together. We never meet for more than 2 hours, someone always needs a bathroom by that time. On nice days, we explore and have found so many trails off the main path. Best of all has been our newly discovered love of hiking up the ridges and wading in the Gunpowder and playing in the mud with Clancy. We always try to look on the bright side – and having a beautiful place to explore is a blessing.

But to have to visit in the trail parking lot on Easter? It’s been a hard day. Our 2017 order handed down by Judge Norman made no provisions for any visit at home other than once a year on Christmas Day. Despite pleading every year for the children to be able to come home on Easter, Tag has always said no. After our hearing requests were repeatedly denied, we were finally granted a 4 day trial hearing that was to take place starting April 28th. Instead, with the courts closed due to the pandemic, we won’t be in court until July 20th.The children and I talked today about hope. I told them that, for me, Easter is most of all a reminder that we must always have hope. In this terrible time where people are losing so much, I am thankful for the time we do have. I am thankful for our good health. Today and every day I will cling to my hope and try really hard to not let my grief, my missing of them, overwhelm me. And I will keep praying for our new beginning.

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