Hope Has a Cold Nose – May 2020 Update

Hope Has a Cold Nose Final Final (2)

Dear subscribers for Hope Has a Cold Nose,

Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. – Brené Brown. 

On May 20th I had the privilege of taking part in a parade.   It was not your traditional parade.  Or perhaps, given current affairs, it is now considered the new normal.   Approximately twelve or fifteen of us begun lining up for the procession – twelve or fifteen vehicles that is.   Some vehicles had one individual, or one individual and a dog like me.   Other vehicles varied from two individuals to four.  I especially liked the vehicles filled with people, for it was these same vehicles in which tiny hands held balloons, and though I couldn’t fully see the faces, I could feel the mounting excitement for when these same tiny hands could hold the balloons out the windows in celebration.

Yes, in celebration, for I was in a procession to drive past my niece on her 8th birthday.  Our dog Kutana, also nearing her “eight” – eight months old that is – filled our vehicle with curiosity while I filled our vehicle with joy.    This parade was a request from my niece in how she wanted to celebrate her special day.      Only her mom, dad, or brother know if there were tears of sadness leading up to her birthday that she couldn’t be with her friends at a park or at a home preparing for a near all night giggling slumber party.   For those of us in the procession, we would soon have the delight of seeing her dressed in her beautiful fairy princess dress, dancing on the hill with whole-hearted glee, certain she was the luckiest girl in the entire world.  A parade just for her!

We were asked to meet at the fire hall, a central location a few blocks from where my niece would be.  Or at least that is what I initially thought.   And then I saw one of the fire trucks pull out of the garage, followed by a second one.   Both headed to the front of the pack of our procession.  In that moment I felt the truth of one thing a virus cannot stop love. 

Not only love of aunts and uncles and classmates whose parents were gladly driving their children past a friend.  This was love of a community.  And this was love of individuals who have vowed to serve and protect as first responders.   On this day they were serving a little girl who I anticipate will remember this birthday as one of the most special birthdays of her life.  A moment forever stamped in her heart and in the shaping of her life yet to be.

Through the years as she grows, so to will her wisdom and her grace about this simple moment in her life that was extraordinary and significant.   At a distant point in her future many years from now, after she has immersed herself in young innocence, and then the hustle and bustle of self-absorbed youth, and then the invincibility of her early twenties.  After a time in her life in which she will remember when school was not in person, but online and she has heard countless stories from her elders about how “it used to be” before a pandemic in a world for her that she will see as normal and part of her natural every day way of living.  After a time in which perhaps she, too, is a mom, with a daughter of her own, she will be able to look back and see the truth of yet another thing: even when, or in despite of, painful or fearful times, life always finds a way.   

Very recently I had the sacred honor of writing another veteran life story for Hope Has a Cold Nose.   Among all the extraordinary sentences this veteran communicated of his story, a very powerful one stood out to me.  PTSD excludes you from a world where everyone sees butterflies and rainbows.  I see thunderstorms.   This veteran also shared what others in Hope Has a Cold Nose feel.  It is hard to be vulnerable to a world that holds negative stereotypes about PTSD.  It is hard to be vulnerable when judgment joins the interactions with others.

Just as my heart yearns for the suicide rate to decrease, my heart yearns for fear in society to decrease, too.  For I believe it is fear that ushers in judgment as a self-protection against uncertainty or uncomfortableness with the thunderstorms that are as equally a part of life as rainbows.   When we can befriend the claps of thunder and the lightening strikes and listen to them not in fear but in respect and awe for the extraordinary elements of nature that they are, I believe we will come to know a third truth.     The rainbows happen because the thunderstorms do, too.   And a fourth:   We can find peace with thunderstorms by listening to those who know the thunderstorms well.   

 

I won’t let my pain turn my heart into something ugly.  I will show you that surviving can be beautiful.   – Christy Ann Martine  {https://christyannmartine.indiemade.com/product/mental-health-quotes-survivor-quote-printable}

Sincerely,

-Christine

As communicated last month, the manuscript for Hope Has a Cold Nose is complete and steps have been initiated for publication.   In early June, I will be finalizing the editing path, with anticipation for the editing to happen July – August.   Once the editing is complete, the design phase will begin (formatting for the book size, book jacket cover, etc.)     I am setting an intention for the book to be available in hardcover, paperback, and electronically late Fall.   Specific timing will become clearer as the book progresses to publication.

I can be reached by visiting https://www.hopehasacoldnose.com/, https://christinehassing.com/ or you can email me at ckhred30@gmail.com

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