It’s been pretty depressing around here lately. I have been dragging along, putting on a good face for the outside world but generally feeling like I could cry at any time, feeling sad and tired, feeling like no one listens or understands. Feeling hopeless. But tonight, I had an epiphany.

A few different people have told me lately how important it is to have hope. Hope. What a funny thing to say to someone in our situation. We are worried our kid will die, worried that she will get kicked out of her school for special needs kids because her needs are too special, worried that she’s so terribly disabled that we’ll have a hard time getting her through school, and worst of all, worried that no one will ever see her amazing-ness because they’ll be too focused on the disability.

But still, various people have implored me to have hope. Hope. Trust. Faith. Belief that a higher power is at work. Maybe it’s Facebook God. But hope in what? How can I hope, when everything all around is beating us down?

Tonight, though, I found a little hope. Or rather, I found a way to hope by providing hope to others. I shared a video with a group of parents of kids who don’t feel pain, with a caption about how one year ago we did not think Gracie would ever walk unassisted, but now she can walk on uneven surfaces for long-ish distances and she’s even working on standing still. This girl for whom we had no hope defied the odds and learned the un-learnable. She really is Amazing Gracie.

So my lesson was this: I realized that, if I had been watching that video a year or two ago, if it had been posted by another mother, shamelessly bragging about her child’s hard-won accomplishments, I may have still doubted that Grace could ever walk alone, but maybe, just maybe, would have found a little hope that if this kid can do it, mine can too.

My little Amazing Gracie… she fills my heart with love and gladness and – dare I say it? – hope. ❤

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