“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”—Christopher Reeve

He turned around and waved.  His smile said it all, and it said things like thank you, I am filled with hope, and I have been shown the kindness of man.  To me it also said this was more than just a clean bushel of laundry.   This was more than time not spent sitting at the washateria.  To me this was a small gift that had a lasting impact on the people it helped.

One-by-one I was witness to this gift.

She didn’t want to tell her story, but she didn’t mind her picture being taken.  Then I noticed all the small clothing.  She was a mother who’d fallen on hard times.  Those hard times can fall on any of us [mothers.]   After the photo was snapped I mouthed the words, “Thank You” and she mouthed back, “No, thank you!”

I imagined her hugging a little boy later that night, drawing him close, and smelling that wonderful, freshly laundered scent.  The scent filling her with more hope than we can even put down in written word.

She was a firecracker, and she talked, and talked; while I listened and listened.  That is also a gift:  Listening.  It’s the gift of being heard.  It’s the gift of knowing that someone cares enough to listen.  Since Katrina she had been taking her clothes to her neighbors, and to her son’s and daughter-in-law’s house.   They didn’t mind, but she felt rude always imposing on them.   As quickly as she said that, though, she got choked up and said, “But I don’t think I ever would have made it without my family, my neighbors, and my friends.”

Her name was Susanne, and she was grateful for the help—every last bit of it.


There is a common thread that runs through us, and that I fully believe is Hope.   Once you realize it, it can fill you when you are empty, it can lift you up when you are down, it can light you when there is nothing but darkness, it can help guide you when you are lost, and it is the most precious of gifts.

Hold steadfast your gaze
Of everlasting grace
Pray with a loving faith that
Everyone will receive this GIFT


The trip I recently took to New Orleans to listen to stories from Katrina survivors, sponsored by Tide, was an absolute blessing to me.    Not only was I surrounded by wonderful people, but I met some people whose stories moved me.

That’s the power of  story-telling.

I needed this trip back to my most favorite city in the world.  A city that will forever remain in my heart, and one that I definitely know floats on hope.

To read more stories of hope, go to Blog Nosh Magazine.
To read more stories of gifts, go to {W}rite-of-Passage.

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6 Responses to ““Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”—Christopher Reeve”
  1. 12.23.2009

    i’m sorry it’s been a while! what a wonderful time for me to return, too… a wonderful post. love the photos {as always!}.
    merry christmas! :)

  2. 12.23.2009

    You are such and amazing woman. Your talent, your heart, your wit and wisdom are impossible to measure. I am so glad they are so.

  3. 12.24.2009

    That’s such an amazing thing you did there.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas

  4. 12.24.2009

    So inspiring. I wish I could’ve been there.

  5. Amazing.
    I do so wish that I could have been there.
    thank you for making me feel that I was. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your vision and heart.

  6. 12.24.2009

    This event was so powerful in so many ways. I know you all changed lives and that it had a profound effect on each of you who were there helping. I love these photos and your words. HOPE is a magical thing.

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