I must confess as optimistic as I am about life in general and the future of our world, these past months have been
a bit challenging keeping the light of hope alive daily.
Each morning I review my gratitude list and add a few more for good measure. Some days I had to stretch a bit until I found that ray of hope on which to build.
Then, one morning, after skyping with my son and grandson Finn, I realized I was looking too hard and in all the wrong places. Hope is everywhere around us. It is especially in the young ones who surround us.
In our book, Living Brave…Finishing Strong, Mary Beth and I highlighted several young ladies. The two youngest were Kate, seven, and Kimmy, thirteen.
Allow me to introduce you to Kimmy: ‘My name is Kimmy, and I am a thirteen-year-old fashion designer of Sloane Designs. At the age of five, I knew I loved fashion, and by the time I turned eight, I found resources for it!’
Currently, Kimmy is getting ready to begin high school and is still working on her designs and her business website by renovating it and adding more relevant information. She is not presently producing, but she is looking forward to going back to the manufacturing center and working.
Kate, age seven, was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. She was diagnosed at her mother's twenty-week ultrasound and was told Kate was on the severe end of a congenital internal defect that has a fifty-percent survival rate.
Kate’s mother, Jana, wrote this for us to share: "Kate’s excited to get back to school online and 'see' her friends (via the internet) in third grade in September. We’re also doing virtual dance classes and Girl Scouts this year and making the most of staying home! She and her brother, Jack, are becoming even more connected through all of this togetherness - little best friends."
Mary Beth’s granddaughter Skylar, who is seven and lives in New York, recently started a new business, The Bird Investigators. It began during the quarantine because she and her friends and their moms were spending so much time social distancing in the park. They decided they wanted to help people learn more about birds and feathers. I actually sent The Bird Investigators a feather I found and was very curious about the white polkadots on the small brown feather. Skylar sent me a video via text and identified the feather as a Gila Woodpecker. I was impressed. Skylar is serious about her business, quick to respond, an excellent researcher and quite articulate in her text. Amazing!
My friend Mary Lee is the grandmother of Maddy, also seven. Maddy lives outside of Denver with her parents and brother Henry. This year Maddy learned to manage a budget for back to school shopping. She made her own decisions on how to spend the money her parents provided. She could have added some of her own saving for a splurge item, but decided she didn’t really ‘need’ it.
Maddy’s mother created a science project for her and her brother Henry this summer. They would nurture baby caterpillars in large cups. The cups were placed in a glass terrarium in a darkened and quiet room. When they emerged from a chrysalis, they moved them into a large blue net habitat. Finally, the day came when they would release them as butterflies. Two remained at the bottom of the habitat, unable to open their wings. Maddy was not concerned about them, and she instructed her grandmother Mary Lee, "only the strong ones will survive" it’s Nature’s Way".
I have many more stories similar to these, but do not have the space to share them all. A special thank you to Alice, Linda, Sharon, and other grandmothers whose grandchildren fill their lives with hope daily. Revisiting ‘Hope’ I came to the conclusion there are millions of ‘young ones’ similar to Kimmy, Kate, Skylar, and Maddy who are depending on us to keep the fires of hope bright for their future. We are here to hold the feeling of expectation and desire for certain things to happen for the upcoming years……and they will come, and they will be good.
Let us also remember Maddy’s words, ‘only the strong ones will survive, it’s Nature Way’. Be strong, be safe, fuel your hope and live brave.