Remembering the Magic of Hope
Bob sat in the rocker on the porch of the nursing home where he is a resident.
"I'm not sure what I'm doing here. I don't feel very hopeful for the future".
"Want to pick a Faery Card?" I playfully asked. I'd been giving readings all morning to staff and residents and Bob was watching with mock curiosity.
He gave me a 1/2 smile and full sigh.
I was often curious, like Bob, as to the reasons for his residency here. Sharp cognitive ability, reasonably healthy. When lacking, those are two of the main reasons for nursing home placement My intuition told me he had nowhere else to turn.
We'd been engaging in conversations for some time now, during my bi-monthly visits over the past several months. We'd talked about what he felt was lacking in his existence. The list was so long just talking about it made him depressed.
I fanned the cards in front of him while he continued to lament.
"I don't know why I left my last relationship". Several years after his wife died he was introduced to a woman of abundant financial means which was a new experience for him. "Although she was a pleasant enough person, and I really liked not worrying about the money" he said, "she just wasn't my type."
My curiosity got the better of me. "It seems a bit conflicting to wonder why you left, yet be able to articulate the reasons. What is it you're not seeing?"
This was a bit of a stunning question for him, and he absent-mindedly picked a card.
"You know, it's the faith. It's the belief that things will work out. I lost it somewhere along the way."
We're funny with faith. No matter how much past experience we have with things working to our best and highest good, once we have a challenge that confuses us, it shakes what we'd thought was iron-clad faith. We are an evidence craving species yet don't connect with the evidence after we've made the choice, conscious or unconscious, to question our faith.
Bob was able to re-tell a story he'd shared with me some months ago, about what he was sure was a guardian angel who appeared out of nowhere, contributed to Bob's well being, then disappeared without a trace. "Why can't I get those angels back here?"
"Are you sure they're gone, or have you stopped seeing them?"
A light bulb went off and he turned the card over.
"New Opportunity" the card read.
He offered a full smile this time and his sigh was in the form of a cleansing breath.
"This is it! Someone was here the other day asking that I write some of my experiences for a local publication. I started but for some reason it felt forced. It felt forced because I'd forgotten to ask for help."
I visited Bob a few weeks later and he had begun writing. He recited a series of poems for children he's been working on. He confided that he still felt down about his situation at times but has been able to more easily access the story of his guardian angel who he now feels is in his presence most of the time.
In the meantime, we'll work together to find the support that will allow that connection to flow more naturally.