This is a teen-written article from our friends at Teenink.com.
By writesomethingalways, Pueblo West, CO
Hope. It's the driving force behind our hearts. As much as we try to stay cautious about getting our hopes up for impossible chances, hope creeps into our hearts and settles there, digging in deeper and deeper the longer we try to deny it. Hope is what can turn a phrase or number into a dream –- a dream we hold onto with our very being, begging for our deepest desires.
That is the mystery of hope. As much as we strive to ignore it and focus on what will probably happen, hope always tells us what should happen. Sometimes we feel like we must struggle with hope, to hold it down and keep it from consuming us in a reality that can't happen. The truth is, we want to hope. We want to let ourselves dream of a better reality, but another force comes into play –- despair.
Despair works just like hope, except it is even stronger. We hear it in the back of our heads, pushing away all hope for a good future. Despair is unrelenting. If you give in, even the slightest bit, it will drag you down until you have lost sight of hope completely.
I tried to fight back at first. When despair whispered Grandpa has cancer, I shouted back, No! There's still a chance it could be something else, and I won't back down until my options are out. I struggled and struggled, but when the news came, the truth hit me hard: stage four, terminal, that had spread to the bone.
All hope dissolved then and there, and I stopped fighting. Sometimes the despair of losing him came on so strong. I cried for hours after helping my grandma take care of him. I was breathing, but I didn't feel the air. My lungs burned for oxygen when they were already full. I wasn't handling it well, and I wasn't telling anyone except my journal. Eventually I began to recover somewhat, but I knew I never wanted to be in that place of depression and wrenching grief ever again.
For a while, everything was fine. Then my next trial began. Grandma had a mass on her lung. It was the same type of cancer as Grandpa's, and in the exact same place. All the emotions that hadn't completely mended themselves came flooding back, and suddenly I was in that place of anguish again. But then something else happened. Remember hope? It came back. Suddenly there was something to hope for. Twenty percent. To some, it's just a number, but to me, it's what holds my world together. She has a 20 percent chance of being healed.
As much as despair tries to stop me, my heart grabs hold with all its might to that number. Everything in me is praying constantly: Give me my grandma. Hope screams from the rooftops of my soul that 20 percent is a big number. I can't hold it back any longer. It has broken loose. Now it's flying about me, urging on each step. Sometimes it comes in the form of a thought or a piece of news, sometimes it comes through a friend. Wherever it comes from, it comes strong. I won't stop it anymore.
Although hope is strong, despair still tries to attack every now and then. There's still that 80 percent chance that I have her for only two more years, but I can't dwell on that. I can't go back to that state of misery this time. This time, I've learned I need to let hope fly like a bird in the sky. I need to let it soar from mountain to mountain. If it gets shot down, it will be a hard fall, but not as hard as the fall I would take if I let myself give in to despair right now.
Hope will prevail. I will not fall.