Holding out for Hope


18 months ago I took a small little mum from Luca’s grave after Memorial Day weekend. I can’t even remember who left it – my mom, my in laws or my husband’s grandpa. I brought it to my front flower bed and planted it next to a small angel statue and “Hope” rock.

I watched it grow all summer. It grew and grew and grew but then fizzled out, never blossoming. Last fall I nearly ripped it out. But decided to leave it and just trim it back. It was free, I didn’t have anything to replace it with and so I decided to just wait it out and see what happened.

This spring it sprouted once again. I watched it grow and grow and grow. At the end of summer it was tall and wild. The stems stretched out past my flower bed and onto the grass.

I probably should have trimmed it. But I didn’t have the time or energy. I let it grow wild.

I watched it this fall as I saw other mums in the neighborhood bloom colorful. But there it stood wild and green – no blooms in sight.

Then, just when I thought I was going to rip it out again, I caught sight of a tiny bud. Then the next week several more.

I held out.

This past week it bloomed. Little maroon pedals burst from the buds and stretched forth from their yellow centers. They are small, they are late, but they are beautiful.

I remember thinking about the plant and my hope for it blooming when I glanced over to it one day a couple months ago while working in my yard.

There it stood next to my “hope” rock. I smiled at the irony. I set that stone as a reminder of my hope for my baby. Hope that his life won’t be in vain. Hope that I won’t ever forget him. Hope that I will see him again. Yet the stone stood as a reminder of hope for another item – the plant. For more than a year I hoped it would bloom. I wanted it to, I waited for it, I thought it would never come, yet through all the waiting and wondering my “hope” rock was right beside the plant. It kept reminding me that it could happen.

And it did.

Sometimes the things we hope for are hard to find. Sometimes it seems like they are going to bloom but they fizzle out. Sometimes our hopes and dreams just grow and grow and grow but prove wild. Sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to prune them. Then sometimes when it feels like we are going to give up and rip out all our chances, we catch sight of a tiny bud.

That’s how I feel about my hope for Luca. Sometimes it feels lost. Sometimes it feels wild. Sometimes it feels like I want to rip it out and rid my life of it all. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time or energy for it all. Then I catch a tiny bud of hope – a memory, a thought, a feeling, a connection with someone else who I would not have known without having Luca.

Those moments remind me of the hope I can still have. They remind me that sometimes my plant may seem dead and bare, but if I hold on the flower will come. It may take what feels like forever and the flowers may be small and stringy. But, they will come.

If I hold out.

I’m holding out. Out for hope that there must be some reason that I buried my baby boy. Hope that I’ll get to hold him again.

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