On the wall of Mojo’s bedroom is a picture by my ridiculously talented friend Katie. It is one of my favourite things in our home. It’s an extract from the Emily Dickinson poem ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’. The art is beautiful and the words are beautiful and it, for me completely embodies how Mojo has taught me to feel about hope and optimism.

Hope is fundamental.

Hope is actually Mojo’s middle name. When we were awaiting Mojo’s arrival we were sent to visit the children’s hospice. A really lovely woman showed us around and talked about the options we might have depending on if baby made it as far as discharge from hospital after she was born. At the end of the tour she asked if we had any questions and I asked her if she though Hope was a cheesy name for a child with such mountains to climb? She smiled and said she hadn’t met very many Hope’s and I should just choose the name if it suited her. We did. It did. It still does.

Hope for me is so many different things.

Hope that pain will pass and that strength, in all it’s forms, will come.

Hope for progress, for positive changes, growth, development, learning.

Hope for the future, the big picture, Hope that the great unknown brings with it as much joy as sadness.

Hope is having optimism as a daily default setting for always seeing the silver lining and the glass always being half full.

Hope is nothing, ever, being completely good or completely bad.

Hope is the laughter after the tears. Hope is the darkest sense of humour.

Hope is the little voice that tells you you can, or that you can at least try, even if the perceived evidence says you can’t.

Hope is the soothing feeling that what will be will be.

Hope is the sun coming up every morning.

Today is the ninth anniversary of the day Mojo’s diagnosis crashed into our lives and changed everything. Hope is what has carried us from 2nd August 2011 to 2nd August 2020.

Hope has been the vehicle for so much love, so much joy, so much happiness and so much gratitude.

Hold on. Don’t lose hope. The sun will come up.

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