It doesn’t cost a thing to smile
You don’t have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that.”
The R & B artist, India Arie, caught on to the essence of “hope” when she created the above lyrics. It’s the simple things in life that give me hope: smiles from infants, laughter, nature’s beauty, dew in the morning, the sun shining brightly on a summer day, or the sound of the waves crashing against some rocks. You can’t place a price on these things. They are precious, and the joy I experience from these things gives me hope because I can allow myself to bask in the moment and simply enjoy life. I like to explain this experience as an identified moment that lodges itself in the midst of a deep breath. Think about it…. inhale… exhale. It’s that split second that nestles between inhale and exhale that I call my “hope moment.” “Hope moments” give me the energy that I need to help me achieve the goals that I have in life despite my kidney disease.
The “hope moment” can be described as that moment of silence where there is nothing happening except you and your thoughts. It’s that moment that temporarily suspends life and brings you an inner peace. It allows you to forget about your troubles, relax, and even think about what is going to come next. It represents potential. Specifically, it gives me permission to focus on tomorrow. Yes, in that split second… Think about it… inhale… exhale… I believe it’s the tomorrow factor within the “hope moment” that allows me to continue to participate in life rather than to simply observe it. It’s the participation in tomorrow that fuels my aspirations for the future. So, what does the future hold? I don’t know, but I do know that, if I don’t look forward to tomorrow, then I won’t have any hope for today.
Tomorrow represents opportunity. It’s another chance to have a “do over.” With tomorrow, I can make amends. With tomorrow, I can try it again. With tomorrow, maybe that laugh that I didn’t get to have today will come. With tomorrow, the possibilities are endless, and just thinking about those possibilities in that “hope moment” gives me what I need to press on. Go ahead… inhale!… exhale!… Are you getting it yet?
I believe that my “hope moments” have a lengthening effect on my life because they allow me to be grateful for the things that I have today. This is so important because, in spite of my circumstances and all that I go through, the simple truth is many people don’t have “hope moments” because they don’t get another tomorrow. So as long as I am still around, I will smile, laugh, observe the beauty of nature, and enjoy all of the “hope moments” that life has to give me!
As a dialysis patient, you can experience many not so good days. A day that is filled with lengthy doctor appointments, multiple needle sticks, and/or chronic pain can really put a damper on your mood. However, for me, that thought of, “if I can just make it to tomorrow,” gives me that little glimmer of hope that I often need to make it through the rest of the day. The idea of looking forward to something rather than focusing on the unpleasantness that I may be experiencing is what tomorrow is about. So, when the challenges are abundant in a day, I simply inhale… exhale… and enjoy that “hope moment.” Doesn’t that feel better?
About the Author
Sherai Onibasa passed away in late 2008 from complications after a kidney transplant operation. We will miss her greatly.
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