Monday, May 3, 2010

My Favorite Word

I mostly shy away from superlatives. I like too many things. Fear too many things. Have the attention span of a true Gemini. Perhaps this is a legacy of a middle child? You may recall an earlier post where I confessed that as a child the innocent question of "what is your favorite color?" would create in me an anxiety storm. Inside my head would roll around "what is wrong with me? I don't have a favorite color. I like many. Don't like a few. And if I did have one, I wouldn't want to say it outloud. I would hurt the other color's feelings." I love good dining but would be hard pressed to tell you what my favorite restaurant is. I will never have a "best friend" because I have a handful of friends that I could never, ever choose a best one from: they are my bestest friends. (Which makes me wonder that if you add "-est" to any superlative does that get you off the hook?)

I shy away from political discussions. I will not be backed into a strong opinion. Not to be confused with an inability to make decisions. I do this quickly. Lose patience with those who cannot make a decision. But when I decide something it's because I want to get on with things. Not necessarily because I don't see other ways things could be done.

Recently I overheard the question posed "what's your favorite word?" I was ruffled a little when an answer came immediately to mind. I'm so aware of my adversion to superlatives that I notice when I experience the feeling of having one. Immediately upon hearing that question posed to a total stranger I wanted to shout out my favorite word: HOPE. In fact, if I had a girl baby this time in my life I would name her Hope. (though "Miracle" would be more apt seeing as how I no longer produce those life hatching eggs)

There is nothing more important than having hope. I know this because I have been at the place where I had none. I know what a difference the smallest seed of hope can make in a barren landscape. I think it's why being involved in causes that aim to bring hope is lifegiving to me. It's why I want to bitchslap anybody that says those bad superlatives like "incurable" and "hopeless." But then I realize that hope comes in its own timeframe. Sometimes what we hope for gets replaced by something new that is put before us. That's what I know as "God's plan."

Sometimes we can be a catalyst for hope and not even know it. I love my sister's story of how she found out years and years later how she saved a high school classmate from taking his own life by exchanging a "hello" in the hallway. Hope can be as innocent as "hello." Hope may be found in surrender. A flicker in the cerebellum that hints that "things don't have to be this way." A fantasy that you dare not share. Whatever form it comes in it is the MOST important thing in my book. My MOST FAVORITE word. Hope. I hope you find some today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Sis! Another awesome piece of prose. My heart overflows when I read your extraordinary reflections. Thanks for sharing, and for giving hope.

P.S. I am laughing because my word verification to post this is 'puker.' Thank goodness I haven't been one of those in awhile.