Dear Hope Has a Cold Nose subscribers,
You are receiving an additional update for October because of exciting news highlighted below!
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzo
A few months before I met the first veteran and service dog that you will meet in Hope Has a Cold Nose, I was walking a journey with a dear friend during the last weeks of her life on Earth. We were meeting weekly via web-ex technology because my dear friend lived on the other side of the ocean. My friend was sharing with me her words of wisdom. I was converting her wisdom into letters that would be given to her two young sons for them to refer to in the years to come. For the years when they might wonder what their mom would think or say if she was physically sitting beside them and not an angel above. We were writing letters they would find after she was gone.
During the last conversation with my dear friend, I made a vow to her that I would make her story matter. I didn’t know how at the time. I only knew that I wanted her to leave Earth in peace knowing that she would fulfill her vow. She was certain that her fight with Cancer was because she was meant to touch many lives. I wanted her to know many lives would continue to be touched; I wanted her to know that she had profoundly made a difference in mine.
Whispering in my heart was the wise words someone spoken to me many years before when I was deeply disheartened by a tragedy I had heard about. Chris, everything that happens – good, as well as tragic – is planned. If you make a positive change in your life because of this accident – perhaps you drive slower when the roads are icy or you express love more frequently – you will give purpose to why this accident happened. You will make it matter that it did.”
In his words, I internalized that nothing is coincidence; there is purpose in everything that takes place. Life does not shelter us from challenge or loss, but we can make it matter when it occurs. Life’s downturns are the gifts to help us grow. Even in her most depleted states from chemotherapy, my dear friend lived hopefully.
We would write the letters as my friend held the intention that she would be physically present to read them to her sons “someday”, years after she had been in remission. She would share with me how she was the one to inspire the others in the oncology ward, as each person sat with a port drinking in hope that what was filling their bodies would replace what was trying to overtake their souls. You can do this! You are going to beat this! It is going to be okay!
When I asked the first veteran you will meet in Hope Has a Cold Nose if I could write his story, it was a few weeks after my dear friend had died. I thought I was asking for a class assignment. My soul knew I was asking to fulfill a larger purpose. The assignment was to fulfill a requirement to do something creative we had not done before. Writing life stories was not new to me. Writing a story for someone not knowingly dying was.
Three years later a book about the depths of pain, trauma, sorrow, despair and equally about the power of courage, will, and hope has been co-authored with 23 remarkable individuals and is now complete. Hope Has a Cold Nose will launch November 11, 2020. For Veteran’s Day, a United States holiday that honors military veterans who have served in the Armed Forces.
Lean in, lean on, and stand tall. Pain is part of what we experience but how we lean into it is the key. I can’t promise you a life where you will never feel hurt in your heart or physically. But about pain there are other things I can guarantee. I can guarantee you will have times you want to quit when the pain seems greater than you can endure. I guarantee you each have within you the spirit to never quit, that is most for sure. I can also guarantee you that if you lean into what hurts versus shying away, you will find the strength within you to push through to a new day.
I do believe my dear friend would be proud of each of the twenty-three co-authors who leaned in, leaned on, and stand tall. A book to inspire hope.
An honored vow.
Hope. If you carry one thing throughout your entire life, let it be hope. Let it be hope that better things are always ahead. Let it be hope that you can get through even the toughest of times. Let it be hope that you are stronger than any challenge that comes your way. Let it be hope that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now, and that you are on the path to where you are meant to be…because during these times, hope will be the very thing that carries your through. – Nikki Banus
Stay tuned for another update towards the end of October for how you can obtain a copy of Hope Has a Cold Nose. It will be available in hardcopy, paperback, and electronic form.
Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions. I welcome exchanging in dialogue with you. I can be reached by visiting https://www.hopehasacoldnose.com/, https://christinehassing.com/ or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. For additional impactful and powerful information regarding the healing impact of service dogs, please visit https://www.northwestbattlebuddies.org/a-vision-of-hope/.