Is there a way to explain how to get ready for hurt and tragedy?  Probably not.  And if there is, I’m out of answers.  Today, I sat and listened to the nurse as she calmly talked about my husband being accepted into Hospice.  My typical reaction to most calamities is to become extremely calm.   Of course, there are other reactions that are happening within my psyche.  I usually don’t know the grief  has hit me until much later when I look back.

I’ve watched parents of people who are mentally challenged and marvel at their resilience in the face of crisis.  All parents of children with disabilities face daily concerns.  Some of them live with imminent and serious medical or emotional dilemmas. 

More than 20 years ago, I listened to a psychologist who explained that when he began to work with parents of children with disabilities, he found that they lived with incredible hope.  He believed that it was this hope that allowed them to continue decade after decade, expecting their lives to work out for their good.  Some years before, a group of people had worked with me for three years to publish a newsletter to people who were terminally ill.  I had learned something about grief.  The theme of our newsletter came from Romans 5:5.  “Hope does not disappoint.”

Though my husband knows he will now be under hospice care, he doesn’t really understand the implications.  However, he came from his room as the nurse and I reviewed options and signed papers.  “Am I going to die tomorrow?” 

She laughed.  “I looked but I didn’t see an expiration date on the bottom of your foot.”  Not sure of my husband’s reaction but she infused my spirit with hope. 

One parent–who has two severely disabled children and is also a pastor–said to me, “God is still in charge of our lives.  No matter how many trials and difficulties we have to travel through.”  Today, I remembered so many people who live in the state of expectation for good things to happen because they understand that God is their friend as well as their Savior.

I’m not ready for so many things; but ready or not…life happens.  Thank God for hope and that “hope never disappoints.”