For the first time since November 2016 I woke up feeling hope. How can that be after this weekend? Yes there was so much sickness and ugliness, but there also were tremendous moments of beauty and coming together.

Let me tell you about my mother and hope. In early fall 2015 my mom realized she was not going to make it until Christmas. At 88 years old her body was failing. But her mind was still sharp. She had some forgetfulness but really not much more than I do. 

The last photograph I took of my Mom and grand nephew Vaugh.
Mom was well informed. Every night she watched the news, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. A couple of months before her death she started pulling my sister and me aside asking us to promise that we would not lose hope.

Mom - “Things are going to get really bad I want you both to promise me you will not lose hope because things will change for the better.”

My Sister and Me - "But Mom, what are you talking about? We have an African American president and we are soon going to have the first woman president. Things are getting better.”

Mom - No. Things are going to get really bad. Promise me.

My Sister and I looked at each other, thinking "What is Mom talking about?" But it was important to Mom so we promised. 

Mom died soon after and my sister died suddenly shortly after the 2016 election. There have been so many times I have thought...I am trying not to lose hope Mom, but it’s really hard. I have not had a morning since trump took office where I did not wake up sad.

And yet, this morning, after so very much loss I woke up feeling hope. It has been a hellish weekend, a hellish week, a hellish few years. Yet something feels like it shifted. Maybe it was the pictures of the black men protecting the single policeman. Maybe it was the white policemen kneeling with protestors. Maybe it was those who came together to clean up the streets after the previous nights looting.

Or maybe it was Mom funneling hope to me as I dreamed. Who knows. But this morning I can honestly say to her. Mom I have not lost hope.

Be sure to listen to the beautiful young voices in the video below this post. They will lift you up. To my mom and the Aeolians Oakwood University Alumni Choir - Thank you.