One Word: Hope

by | Cancer, Living Well

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?  

(Reverb 10 – Day 1 / Prompt Author: Gwen Bell)

I didn’t have to think very long or very hard to assign a word for this year.  Cancer consumed my energy and time, but the one word I would use to describe this year is hope.  Hope is what drives me, what gets me out of bed every day.  Hope is what I see every time I look at my daughter. Hope is why I subjected myself to all the ick of treatment.

For what am I hopeful? A cure? Of course. And until then, I’d like to battle this cancer back, and not have any recurrence.

I’m hopeful I’ll have many more tomorrows.

I’m hopeful I’ll outlive my daughter’s childhood.

But there’s more than that – I’m 40 now, it’s about time for a midlife crisis. Imagine what happens to a midlife crisis when the universe says this might actually be the end of your life.

I’m a late bloomer: at 40, I’m still working on getting my bachelors degree, I haven’t yet started a career from which I could eventually retire, I’ve never been off this continent, I’ve just been married a few years, and my daughter isn’t even two yet. This mid-life crisis had already been messing with me when I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

There is so much I want to do with my life.  Most importantly, I want to be the one to raise my daughter, to guide her through adolescence and into adulthood, and to be there for her if and when she starts her own family. I want to get old with my husband. I want to travel around the world. I want to finish my degree – for myself, but also as an example to my daughter.  I also want to write a book, and more than that, to make a living as a writer. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first comprehended that someone wrote the words I was reading when I was in Kindergarten. I have two big ideas for non-profits I want to get started. I want to make a mark on the world.  I want to make a difference.  I want to make the world a better place.

So hope it is:  Hope that I can be here to raise a confident, intelligent, and compassionate young woman, and Hope that I can finish my degree, muster the confidence to start submitting my writing for publication (perhaps even some travel writing from all the adventures The Husband and I will have together), and get the ball rolling on righting some wrongs in this world.bird-4

That’s a lot to pack into one little four-letter word.

My word for next year: Resilience.

What word would you use to describe 2010?


Judy Schwartz Haley


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