Thursday, 5 February 2009
Hope Springs Eternal
I'm back, refreshed and ready for action. I've been reflecting a lot on our situation, it's been really good to have time to process the last 5 years. Much of it has been quite un-processable! So those were the bits I parked and filed under ' to be attended to at some undetermined time in the future'. As the old saying goes ' no problem is too big that it can't be run away from'.
It's funny how reflection happens in snippets, events drift in and out of your mind, often triggered by seemingly unrelated events. The historic inauguration of President Obama, and the appearance of the first Daffodils has me pondering on the nature of hope. It's a word we bandy about with such ease, we roll it off our tongues without too much thought. I remember times when Rory was very sick people would often say - where there's life, there's hope. I never understood them, at times I even wondered if they themselves understood what they were saying. Even if they didn't, hearing the sincerity of their concern for our family, felt like a lull in the storm.
Hope's a funny one though, it's not always easy to maintain. I look on hope as a gift - not unlike that of religious faith (a gift, I personally have never received). This is not just a passive gift, it can't just be passed on without being continuously nurtured. Like the dying embers of a fire, hope is fragile and has to be stoked continuously. It takes courage, energy, tenacity and, lets be frank, a certain insanity to keep it going. Although blessed with a fundamentally optimistic disposition, I frequently struggle to maintain hope. But then, here's the another thing about hope, it can be lost and then found again without recrimination. When energy lags and the embers struggle to glow, the flame can go dormant, then when you least expect it, some whisper of wind from left field, will tickle life back into to smouldering ashes. When hope is passed between us, we have a responsibility to package it well, like fine bone china, it needs to be handled with care. The receipt of it is also a big responsibility, as hope like fine china, once broken, doesn't stick back together again without leaving a scar.
As the combination of expectation and desire, our ability to hope is often tied up with our sense of self worth. Hope needs the nutrients of self esteem to survive. Obama's message of equality and righting of old wrongs is hugely powerful, as he is the visual embodiment of that hope fulfilled. Daffodils are the proof that light comes again each year after the dark winter. Lets face it, if we loose hope what have we left? This is all very philosophical, I hear you say, but where is it leading? The short answer is, I don't know, but I just felt I had to give you some insight into my current state of mind. My hope is still alive but it 's currently on life support.
On Monday, I got a letter from Enable Ireland. The woman who knowingly allowed my son to be referred to a dangerous speech and language therapist, has been promoted. After all the complaints, the findings, the tears and the downright terror, she has been rewarded for her negligence, reckless endangerment and lack of due diligence. It is very hard for me to hope that Enable Ireland will ever be able to provide for my son's needs. It is very hard for me to hope that my son's needs will be met in this country.
So, I've been thinking, maybe I've been placing my valuable, hard earned hope in the wrong place. My hope is now going to reside with people who are capable of nurturing it, not inhumane institutions who have no concept of the fragility of hope.
I'm already looking on the bright side, at least that bat has left and I don't have to deal with her anymore. Would it be audacious of me to hope that her successor is more humane?
No, that would be just plain irresponsible.