[The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris, author of My Wife and Times. We continue this entertaining series with Daniel’s discovery of his own mortality. —Ed].
I hope so...
By Daniel Will Harris
Little did I know how little I knew. Three years ago I saw
a new year coming, and I couldn't envision how it would turn
out. I didn't have a dream. I didn't have a plan. I didn't
That's when I got very sick. I'm not one of those people
who think "you make yourself sick," but I do think
that I made myself susceptible to getting sick. How? I was
afraid. No, I was sore afraid.
Three years ago, despite my having kept up with the times,
having been on the cutting edge and moving my business to
the web, the changing economy was putting my long-time clients
out of business, things were uncertain, and it took its toll
Looking back on it, my wife says my perception didn't jive
with reality, but back then I couldn't see six months ahead,
much less 6 years. I couldn't imagine it. I couldn't even
day dream it. It was like the world was flat, and I was sailing
off the edge. And it was so exhausting that my body couldn't
fight what I got. And it just got worse, and worse, and worse.
Instead of having faith that I would get better, I just had
fear that I would continue to get worse. I wasn't afraid of
dying. I was afraid of not living. I was afraid of letting
my family down. I was afraid of not being able to do what
I thought I was capable of doing.
I had literally forgotten how to dream. I used to have elaborate,
interesting dreams, but during this time I just slept. I used
to have entertaining day dreams, but at this point I was too
realistic. The dreams sank under all the reasons why they
As I got sicker, and a dark future looked closer every day,
I became angry and envious of other people's enthusiasm and
energy. There was one particular commercial where the people
were so happy about buying and installing car parts that it
made me cry. I wanted to be that excited about a brake shoe—even
if it meant wearing one.
Finally I stopped believing I could get well again. My doctors
never told me I could. They only said they could cut big parts
out of me. Hope didn't seem like an option. Yet every night
before bed, my wife would simply say, "Things will be
better tomorrow," and that kept a glimmer of hope alive.
That glimmer got me through. Finally a wonderful doctor said
"You can be well again." Hope was once again an
option, then a direction, then a force, then reality.
I learned that hope is the ONLY option. Without hope I have
nothing. Hope isn't "wishful thinking" of the "if
wishes were horses" variety. Hope is the most powerful
force in the universe. Hope is faith—in spirit, nature,
What matters is having hope in the future—hope that
we will wake up tomorrow to a better day. Hope IS the future—the
only future worth having.
Around this time of year, when I want to be appreciative
that I'm now totally healthy and hopeful about tomorrow, it
gets colder, and darker. And despite celebrations, I somehow
see more things that seem hopeless. Injustice. Hunger. War.
Age-old issues we humans have yet to rise above.
I would have thought that 2000 years AD (or in the year 5761
in the Hebrew calendar) we, as a species, we would have been
more together than we are. But that's just an expectation.
Expectations usually only lead to disappointment.
At times like this, I know I have a choice now. I can be
afraid, or I can be hopeful. I choose hope.
I wish you hope.