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Day 7: Shared Hope


When my alarm rang this morning at 5:45 am, I wanted desperately to roll over and sleep until the twins greeted the day. I missed sharing our morning routine and the enthusiasm they exude as they head downstairs. I needed their contagious optimism.

I pulled out of the garage at 6:18 am desperately looking forward to Saturday morning. After meeting up with Mike at Starbucks we were on our way. I had a headache, was tired and was not in the best of moods.

Over the last week I started to get to know a few of the morning regulars. We first shared in predictable pleasantries and moved quickly into sharing our stories. By the third day I knew the stories of the high school swimmer, the retired navy man and the judicial clerk. We shared the details of journeys, stories of our respective surgeries, the paths that lead us to accepting radiation as the next step and our appreciation for the clinical care teams at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

There was comfort hearing these journeys. And, a sadness seeing the pain of the struggle. In some cases you could see the weight of the situation in the eyes of their loved ones. What we shared was a common thread. A sense of encouragement and an immense amount of mutual optimism.

As I situated myself on the table, I was reminded that each of us is stronger then we think and able to handle far more then we know. I recalled hearing my grandmother say that God may test our love and our strength, but he doesn’t give us anymore then we can handle.

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