Hope is an interesting thing.
For some, it is equivalent to prayer. For others, it's all that there is to hold onto.
For me, it comes and goes. It's in my heart. My mind. My being.
And sometimes I let it go. Because I have no other choice.
This month is the third anniversary of my aunt's passing.
There was so much I held onto. So much we, as a family, held onto those few years ago.
When we found out she was sick we hoped it was not nearly as bad as it sounded.
When we found out how long she had been sick we hoped that this was an unnecessary exaggeration.
When she could barely speak I held out hope that I would hear her voice once more. I was lucky. I did.
When I listened to my mother cry I hoped for strength. For her. For my father. For my cousins. For us all.
When the days went by and she remained in pain. Suffering. Sadness. I found myself letting go. Slowly. Letting go of the hope.
I needed to let it go. Needed to so I could let her go.
There was no way for me to rush home to see her. There was no timeline. No understanding of what might come. And yet - - the hope that she would hold on. Continue to fight. Was for me. For myself. For my parents. Most especially my father. I didn't want her to leave us. Didn't want her to go.
But I didn't want her to suffer. In pain. Trapped inside of herself.
So I let go of the hope.
Set it free like a green balloon.
Why green? I don't know - it just worked for me. For her. My beautiful aunt.
A balloon drifting up into the sky. Carrying my hope - up - up - up.
I let it go.
And switched to a different kind of hope.
One where she was no longer hurting. One where she knew she, too, could let go.
And when I heard the phone ring that evening. Heard my husband's voice shift as he spoke to whomever was on the other end.
I knew letting go was the best thing for us all. But more importantly, for her.
I miss my aunt. I miss her crazy ways. Her laugh. The way she refused to smile for the camera, but her eyes crinkled just like my dad's. Like mine.
I hate that she is gone too soon. I hate that there is so much she is missing. But I knew that it was time to let her go. To let go of the hope.
**This week's Write on Edge prompt was about abandoning hope. This is my interpretation of that prompt and I hope you'll all go gentle on me for using it to share a personal experience that is prevalent in my mind and heart this week. Thanks for taking the time to read.