The Slender Thread of Hope

The Past

It is April 2000. I am shuffling along the hallway on the 14th Floor of Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto.  I am pushing my pain pump with my right hand and a pole, with a couple of bags of this and that hanging from it, with my left hand.  Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle. I am in the South ward of the gastro intestinal surgical ward recovering from surgery for colorectal cancer. Others are recovering from surgery for Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis. We will be in the hospital for about 10 days after surgery. Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.  I make it  to the North ward.  These patients are here for longer. A month. Maybe more, recovering from their surgeries. I get to the end of the hallway and ease myself down onto a chair. I congratulate myself for possibly having set a new speed record for the South  Ward to North Ward shuffle. Truly.  As I sat there recovering this is what  I said to myself: “I look forward to the day when the only thing wrong with me is a really bad hang nail.”

Six weeks later I asked my surgeon when I could start to ride again. “Oh anytime,” he cheerily replied. I asked him if he had ever ridden a horse. “I think I did when I was in camp when I was about 10,” was his answer. Why did I feel he was not a riding expert? Because they had opened me up like a tin of sardines and one of the incisions was what I would be sitting on when riding.  But he had given me the all clear so ….no worries. I got a sheepskin pad to cover the saddle and mounted up. 

I was alive. I was riding.  All was well with the world and I gave thanks.

The Present

I do not have a really bad hang nail but I do have arthritis in my thumb. It is annoying. What a joy to have an annoying little affliction. It does not affect my ability to ride in any way. I can hold the reins, even with a double bridle, no problem. 

 

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Photo Credit: Connie Gee

 

I am telling you this because in life we pass through some very difficult times and it can be hard to see the future. Sometimes it is almost impossible. People say to us: “You’ve got to think positive.”   They said that to me all the time. I wanted to tell them to Shut Up. But they meant well.  There are times when it is very hard to “think positive”.  

If you, or anyone you know, is in one of those dark times try to hold onto the thread of hope. Hope is what kept me going.  Hope.  Hope that I would live to be annoyed by a bad hangnail or arthritis in my thumb.

Hang on to that slender thread of hope.

hope

 

 

37 Comments Add yours

  1. paland75 says:

    Thanks for this, have felt the same way myself, always good to know that you’re not the only one that’s felt that way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are welcome. You are not alone.

      Like

  2. Things show up when you need them. I needed this. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored and commented:
    Messages of hope are always welcome, thanks to Anne for this inspirational one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Would you mind if I reblogged? This is wonderfully inspirational for people going through rough times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely! Please do. I wrote the post in the hopes that it could encourage those who are in dark times. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wasque2005 says:

    I’m another gutless wonder,but my future is somewhat bleak. 12 years out and I’m struggling to ride. I’ll never be competition level again. Six midline surgeries have left me with a fistula and fluid on my coxic, well as you can imagine, makes riding tough and painful. Now its failing me, but I still have hope to ride. Keeps me going. I am happy for you and maybe someday I’ll get there too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      So sorry to hear about your complications. I know these things can happen and I have been very lucky. Still, I wish you a better time in the future.

      Like

  6. You really know how to get to the heart of the matter Anne. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks! I have a couple of friends in tough times so I hope they can just keep going till they are clear of it. That’s what inspired me to write this post. I appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hope is what keeps one going. This is so encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I’m glad you found it encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kutukamus says:

    Love the way you still see joy in it 🍸

    Liked by 1 person

  9. youngeventhorseblog says:

    I am not looking forward to the day when my arthritis in my hips becomes more than just an annoying background issue. Will have to make sure to keep focusing on staying fit and strong 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I have had both my hips replaced.my right one 15 years ago and my left one five years ago. Don’t worry you will be riding pain free with a new hip or hips. I am. Keep as fit as you can now because this will help your recovery from hip replacement surgery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. youngeventhorseblog says:

        You give me hope!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Considering myself a thorough tough cookie, I’ve always hated it when people tell me to Cheer up, or “It could be worse.” as if someone with another level of pain could somehow minimize mine. (“Well there, be glad you HAVE a leg to hurt in, there are some that don’t even have a leg any more. Never mind your limping.”)
    Not entirely helpful 😉
    In any event, having hope, or being reminded of its powers, is definitely the right stuff. Thank you for posting this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I like your attitude! Thanks for the legless reference that is a classic!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Anne, this is just what I needed to see today! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m glad the timing was right for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful post and so true. There are many times we have to just shuffle along but I tell myself in those times if I keep moving forward things will work out. 🙂
    Hope is one of the most important things to hold onto. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alli Farkas says:

    I hope I never have to endure a life-threatening disease, one for which people will tell me to “think positive” and “be a fighter”. Because I will surely punch their lights out. I did discover, however, that since my shoulder has several tears in it, can occasionally be excruciatingly painful, and will have to have surgery sometime in the near future, by contrast I can completely dismiss my useless arthritic left thumb as any kind of inconvenience. Yes, there certainly are degrees of annoyance and some require a much larger dose of hope than others! Kudos to you for getting through such nasty stuff and living the life you hoped to, and want to, live!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I hope you will never be faced with a life threatening illness but to be honest it does make for a fuller appreciation of life. They can do wonders with surgery these days so all the best for when that comes to your shoulder.

      Like

  14. It is always good to have hope, faith and trust to carry you to the future and to live in gratitude for all that is already there to help you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This was such a beautiful and encouraging testimony. Thank you for shareing you with us. Having followed you awhile we never knew the challenge that was there at that point. We all have challenges but look how blessed you are and all the wiser from having walked through the valley. Nice post Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much. I wanted to share it in case someone else was in the tough part of the journey and needed to know there can be hope for the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are glad you did. Sometimes our testimonies can be the strength that others need to hear so they too can keep going. As you have heard before, we can’t have a testimony without the test.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thank you. I hope that I can give someone else hope and strength by telling my story.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’ll know in time for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dorothy Clement says:

    Thanks for sharing! It reminded me of 3/16/09 when I learned I had breast cancer and my Dr said “you need to dedicate a year to treatment”. I left the appt. and went to ride my frisky 4 yr old. I knew then I needed to sell him and fight for my life. Thankfully, 8 yrs later and cancer free, I am riding my grey mare as we work up the training scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Thank you for sharing your story. Great to know you are here and back riding!

      Like

  17. Sue Matthews says:

    Very well said Leueen, hope is a beautiful thing although in the dark times it is tough to even acknowledge that it is there.

    You are a remarkable and very courageous lady, and an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sue. You know that it is easy to say “have hope” but hard to find it in the dark. I just put one foot in front of the other and if that can inspire someone else I am grateful for that.

      Like

  18. Frank Prem says:

    Good motto Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

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