Sunday, August 28, 2016

Helpless is not Hopeless

Image result for helpless imagesBack in 2009 just before I was to run the Boston Marathon I wrote a blog called “Hope is a 4 letter word”.   I’ve included the link below for those that might want a trip down nostalgia lane but here’s a snippet from it:

But HOPE also has a different meaning. Wikipedia defines it as “an emotional state different from positive thinking.”  Hope is the emotional life jacket that we hang on to when everything around us seems to be crumbling. The real test of the word is when you face those really hard times that life throws at you like the loss of a job, your home, a child or spouse, or a long term or critical illness. Often times it is the HOPE that if I keep moving forward things will get better.

Ever notice how much easier it is to get your "hopes up" when you are surrounded by teammates, or family, or fellow workers supporting you? I like to think about hope as a light that needs power to shine. Everyone can give a bit to it themselves but it shines brightest when there is support to help.

I’ve had a blessed life.  Some might say it’s a credit to hard work but anyone who had read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell knows there is more to it than that (basically things that are out of your control, like your birth date, can have a significant impact on your success).     Yet, over the last 10 years there have been three life changing events that have brought me up short (not counting the time my older brother fed me rocks as a baby and I had get my stomach pumped, or the time my other brother smashed me over the head with a golf club….brotherly love). 

Next month our family faces the 10th year anniversary of the death of my youngest child.   As any parent who has gone through this knows it is a loss that you never really get over, you just learn to deal.  Some never do.   

The second was the premature birth of my first grandchildren, twin boys.    They were so small when they were born that when I held them in the neonatal care unit at the hospital I could actually hold them in the palm of one hand.   

The third was waking up one day to find out I have Leukemia.  The doctor had to say it twice before it sunk in and even then I was in complete denial.  Obviously they made a mistake, I don’t get sick.  As it turns out, facing your own mortality is actually easier than facing the affects it has on the loved ones around you. 

What all three of these situation had in common was the total feeling of helplessness.  The ability to “fix” the situation is totally out of my control.   For a fix-it person like myself it is totally unnerving.   It’s easy to see how this could lead to feelings of hopelessness, a sense that it will never get better.

For me, it was learning to accept being helpless and relying on other people to help (doctors, nurses, counselors and most of all friends and family).    I think it was said best by the double amputee soldier in the Tina Fey movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.   “Embrace the suck and move the f--- on”.    There’s a certain peace to letting go and turning the outcome over to the experts and God.   I can be helpless but not hopeless.

And the biggest part of staying hopeful has been the support and prayers all of you have sent me.  I can’t thank you enough for sticking by me in the tough times.  We won’t be out of the woods for a few years but the preliminary analysis from the bone marrow biopsy is looking good.  We will have the detailed chromosomal analysis latter this week that will tell us next steps and the likelihood of recurrence.  Fingers crossed…I’m hopefulJ.

Wishing you all great health…..


Marsha Tidy said...

Dear Dave , my prayers are with you,may this be a good turning point.Sending you much healing,Marsha Tidy

rigpei said...

Congratulations David. The courage and positive attitude you displayed during this ordeal is nothing short of inspirational. We will continue to keep you in our prayers. However, over the next couple of years, don't forget the Russian proverb..."Pray to God but don't forget to keep rowing towards the shore"

Love...Mom & Dad Grove

Doreen Bentley said...

Dave once again as I read your most amazing heartfelt words I am humbled, enlightened, and overcome with emotion. We have watched you attack this head on with such a positive spirit and vengeance to ovecome this adversity. I always come up thinking the same thoughts; how blessed we truly are to have you in our lives. Thank you for being you, helping us all become through your words and actions better, kinder, happier, more hopeful people and for sharing your very personal experience with us! You are the best God makes!! Always in our prayers! The Bentleys.

hbkrules69 said...

Hi Dave

I always enjoy reading your blog. Your ability to bring humor into a situation most people would find unbearable brings a smile to my face. I look forward to your next one and to you buying the beer for the inevitable 1986 World Series rematch - with the same outcome of course.

Best wishes


hbkrules69 said...

Hi Dave

I always enjoy reading your blogs and how you stay positive when others may be down. Keep on fighting the good fight! Wishing you well.


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I always enjoy reading your blogs and how you stay positive when others may be down. Keep on fighting the good fight! Wishing you well.