Tag Archives: Washington

Marching with Hope in January

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Yesterday was the March for Life in Washington, DC. I had the privilege to be able to go and take my favorite little partner in crime. We Metro’d in and join the masses of happy-faced people going to make their voices (gently) heard (again).  You know it’s a small world when you run into someone you know on the train (getting on at another stop), too.

The crowd was amazingly youthful and there were folks who had traveled all night by bus from Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Folks from Hartford, CT and North Dakota (two different groups) were represented. We saw signs and banners from Oregon, Canada and Maryland. I’m sure there were more, but the sheer numbers may prevent an accurate guess.

Suffice it to say, every single individual we encountered was thoughtful, caring and friendly. There were strollers and crutches.  The police were cheerful and helpful.The folks selling t-shirts, buttons and pretzels were friendly.  There were so many priests beaming at the passing crowds.

One such priest had just mouthed, “Wow.” I told him, “You said it, Father.” He told me that the March hadn’t even started yet, the speakers were still speaking (we actually didn’t hear #BenjaminWatson speak because we were trying to figure out the lay of the land (it being our first March and all) and so got a head start on the proceedings), but that he estimated 500,000 had already walked past him!

And the media was there. ABC News (WJLA) was there.  A news helicopter (I think, although we didn’t see any station call letters) hovered for a while overhead seemingly surveying the crowd or getting shots or both.  And so was CNN. In fact, a CNN reporter even stopped us in the street to interview us. You’ll have to take my word for it though as they didn’t give the March much coverage. This in spite of the fact that VP Mike Pence spoke (thanks to the NY Times for reporting on it).

She asked me if this President represented my views.  I said, yes, on this topic, absolutely.

She asked why we were here. I told her to represent for those who can’t speak for themselves and to make our voices heard.

It’s nice to actually have someone in the White House who cares what the average person thinks.  Prayers for our new administration as they begin to lead us into the future.  May all in DC be guided by God to make the best decisions for all of us (including those who have yet to set foot on terra firma).

Going to the March left me filled with HOPE for our entire country and for this next generation.

Did you go? Watch? What was your experience?

A Journey…

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This idea has been percolating in my head for a bit now and I’ve even been outlining.  Can you imagine? A pantser like myself actually outlining and mind-mapping?  It was fun, in fact.  It’s always been about the process.  Surveys done in social science classes, experiments and research…now you’re talkin’!

So, here goes.  We, dear reader, you and I, are embarking on our very own journey starting right here, right now (insert earworm here, never mind…I did it for you).

It is my wish that together we will help one another find hope in daily moments.  There are so many opportunities to not be humble or optimistic or purposeful or energetic.  Then again, there are so many little, everyday moments to find in the most obscure, random, downright surprising spots that I have been inspired to share them with you and ask you to share, too.

Do you have an unusual experience or nugget or story that seems to defy all reason, but still inspires you (and others) to not lose faith? Please share it here.

One of the places that seems to have sparked this journey for me is hospice.

My dad was put on hospice following a surgery gone wrong.  It allowed him to go home and be with family when he passed.  Fast forward several years and my mother was also put on hospice, but in a facility as her dementia had progressed to a point where she needed more care than she could get at home.  However, she was put on not because of some horrendous diagnosis, but because of a factor called “negative caloric intake”.  In other words what she was able to eat wasn’t doing her any good nutritionally.  Therefore, the powers that be thought she was “not long for this world” at that rate of speed.  She fooled them.  She ramped up her eating again and did something I didn’t even know was possible. She “graduated” from hospice.  And, in fact, when she did finally pass away, she was not on hospice.

So, both of those instances involved examples of hope.  Dad’s allowed him to be at home with loved ones in an environment he’d helped to create taking some of the powerlessness out of it for him and preparing him for the next step in his journey.

Mother’s was educating me (at least) that this was something that could also be overcome and was not a done deal or a “given”.  God still had the reins here, not us.  Humbling, to say the least and hopeful that she would get stronger and healthier (which she did for a bit).

Since then, I have begun volunteering with hospice myself and it is amazingly rewarding and hope-filled.  The wonderful folks I have had the privilege to meet are veterans who have, in some capacity, served our nation in the armed forces and we are now getting a chance to thank them for their service and sacrifice.  There have been veterans who served in World War II and some much younger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Some are at home and just look frail, not truly “sick”.  Some who are fully aware and others I have heard of who seem to not hear a thing.  The one thing throughout that resonates is that the word HOPE is within the word HOsPicE.  It came to me one day by Divine Intervention no doubt, but just stood out in vast relief and has stuck ever since.  And I feel so lucky to be able to volunteer with such a terrific organization. It has the element of the military which I have such a place in my heart for (being a military spouse will do that to you) and being the beneficiary of hospice (by way of both parents) that it seemed like a perfect fit.  Couple that with a terrific angel of a volunteer coordinator and you’ve got yourself a winner!

What sorts of experiences have you had that were wrapped in Hope when it seemed like that would be the last emotion to be present?

I hope you have enjoyed this session of our journey and I look forward to our next leg.