Hope Changes Everything

Wow, January has been a busy month. Besides work, hiking, home repairs and improvements I have also had my friends from Chicago and Florida visiting. And it has been fun.



Helen arrived early in January. It was so good to see her and spend some time with her. Our lives have intertwined for many years. About 3 weeks after Jim died Helen came to town for a week. Friends are amazing in knowing just what you need. At that point her visit was just what I needed. This January, once again, her visit was just what I needed.


One of our discussions struck a chord with me and I have been pondering this since her visit.

Hope can be defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Or, to want something to happen or be the case.

Hope is something we all need. It is part of our every day lives, even though we don’t specifically address it. Sometimes it helps me get up in the morning. Sometimes it helps me to go to bed at night. Hope is a part of my everyday life. Often it surfaces and I don’t even know it is there.

Helen’s mom is in her late 80’s. MJ is not able to live at home and has not lived there for many years. Until this year they have been able to keep MJ’s home. Early on they would take her to visit and she would travel from room to room and review her treasured collections. That house I believe, represented hope for MJ. It may have given her daughter hope as well. No one knows what the outcome of any single event in our lives will be. Hope lets us know there are options.

Jim on Our Property

Jim on Our Property


Spring on my property

When Jim was diagnosed with the metastasis of his cancer the first thing he said to me was “Let’s  sell the land in Colorado” (We have 45 acres of bare land and we were planning to build and move there). I told him no,I did not think we should worry about that and if it became necessary I could take care of it later. I am glad I told him this. I believe that the land symbolized hope for a positive outcome. Although that did not happen, I recognize now how important it was for both of us to hold on to that property and know there was more than one possibility there.

Now hope helps me see the future. Hope I believe is part of the grieving process. When the days are not so shiny and positive hope helps me get through those moments, knowing that the next moment, hour or day may shine a little brighter. My friends and even strangers also help me hold hope in my heart. It is because of the love and support and caring of others that I am able to lift myself back up out of those darker places and move forward with my life and know there are unknown possibilities ahead for me to explore.

My days have been much brighter since about a week or so  before Christmas. Hope helps me to see a future with possibilities. It helps me to grow and expand. When I am feeling sad or low hope certainly can help me remember to call someone or take a walk and get myself going again. Hope also helps me see beyond undefined fear that has become more prevalent since Jim’s death. Hope pushes aside fear and I am glad that hope is the stronger of the two emotions.

Hope is always part of my adventure into life. It has been since I was young and it will be until I am too old to move any more. But you know, even then the face of hope just changes. It will be always a part of my life.

How does hope affect you? I would love to have my readers share this with me.

19 thoughts on “Hope Changes Everything

  1. Hi Janet! I just read part of your amazing story on the internet, and wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss and all the other difficulties you’ve been through. Your courage in dealing with things head-on like this is both admirable, and inspirational! Thank you for sharing your story of triumph over tragedy. I wish you continued safe and healing journeys…perhaps our paths will cross someday out on the open roads somewhere….

    Best wishes always,

  2. Hi Janet. Just read the Yahoo article and am SO happy for you. You will inspire so many more people with your words. Please keep writing! Donna

  3. Hello, I just read about you on Yahoo. I think what you are doing is amazing! Keep doing it! I am 38 and a teacher. Some summers I always wish not to work and just travel in an RV and see the world. For now I will live vicariously through you. Be well Janet and I will say a prayer for your husband. Adrianna

    • Adrianna, It is very nice to meet you. Traveling is fun. Until you can do it on your own you are welcome to join me, vicariously. And thank you for the prayer. Jim and I turned no prayers down, I still don’t.

  4. Love reading what you write….Hope is so powerful…even when I/we don’t know it–I look back on it….thanks for writing what you do….love it!

  5. Hello, My name is Morgan Krajczar and I just read your beautiful article on my yahoo news page. It was such an inspiring story to me. It was really coincidental that I read it today, as I am preparing to give a conference workshop and I’ve battled with what the topic should be. I am an art teacher and I really wanted to have people who attended make art that was meaningful, therapeautic even. I dug deep and have been organizing my thoughts based around balance and how to find balance in my life, I must really give time to ART, YOGA, and gratitude. I took a lot of notes on how we can maintain balance and why art is so good for us…to make and to create…How we often don’t make time to do the things that we value. Then i turned to the computer to look up images of BALANCE…I of course got sidetracked and read this lovely ariticle about you and your journey…your watercolour class in WYoming (which is where I am orgiinally from, although I live in the Philippines) Your story of loss and grief and your inspiring choice to celebrate the life you have and give gratitude to those who loved you and supported you. It is synchronicity I feel. It gave me HOPE that you are out there. A true stranger, but a human and someone I feel a connection too, just by reading your personal story.
    Thanks for doing what you are being who you are.
    Sincerely, Morgan Krajczar Jacobs (jacobsm@ismanila.org)

    • Morgan, It is nice to meet you. Thank you for reading the article. I did not know it would get the response it did. How did you get to the Phillippines from Wyoming? What a change. Wow, I think you could be an inspiration to me. How did the conference workshop go? Have you done it yet? I would to hear how it went and what you did. Isn’t it nice that we give each other hope.

  6. Amazing, Janet. Keep lifted and lifting! If you ever RV through the Houston area – open invite 🙂 I love the outdoors and to surround myself with positive, strong people! I try to teach this all to my beautiful daughters.

    • Margaret, It is very nice to meet you. I too love to surround myself with strong positive people. When I am in Texas I will let you know. It would be fun to meet.

  7. Janet, your RV journey strikes a chord in my heart. I have always camped with my children, who are now grown, and it seems to me that there is nothing as peaceful yet exciting as a camping trip! Every time and every place there seem to be friends you haven’t met yet….and just the calm and fellowship seem to make the world right again. I lost my oldest son unexpectedly about 6 years ago, and now with every campfire I remember him sitting with his guitar, picking and humming. If you are ever in the Wisconsin area, I would LOVE to camp with you for a weekend…you inspire me!

    • I would love to meet up with you. I actually am coming that way early this summer (late May-early June). I think there is nothing better than being outdoors and enjoying nature. I am sorry to hear of your son. Sigh

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