Tom Wofford has re-embraced Hope.
Tom’s only brother and that brother’s son both died within a few months of each other. It was tough. He talks about taking care of his elderly parents and what kind of responsibility that is. I say something like, “good for you, you’re a fine fellow!” But he says “The satisfaction is the freedom from regret. It’s enough to make me fly.” Though he has experienced the death of a brother, a nephew and is caring for his mother and father, he says there are no regrets or baggage. “It makes me feel good to make a difference. It is now satisfying to me to see other people happy. Especially when it is your parents. My father expresses his gratitude for me daily. He had not told me he loved me more than six times in all my life. He does now, because he can’t believe he is so fortunate to be cared for like this. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t treat me well enough for me to come take care of them. But that’s the beauty of it.”
Shortly after we talk about Hope Tom writes to me about a conversation he has with a friend where he says spontaneously, without really thinking about it, “Hope is a renewable resource. Never fail to share it, spend it, give it away, strew it along whatever trail you travel.” But now that she has shared it on Facebook, he likes the way it sounds. I do too!
Later we talk about the high wire act of maintaining a somewhat false sense of positivity and he says, “We over-use Hope. We trivialize it, or maybe we are acknowledging its ubiquitousness.” I think he is saying that even if we are passively saying, I hope it is a beautiful day, we are reaching for, and maybe subconsciously surrounding ourselves with a Hopeful force.
Tom tells me “Engaging Hope, choosing Hope, embracing Hope is the most effective way to bring about positive change. There is a line in my play that says I don’t expect that this will last forever, but I do have Hope, and I can’t live without Hope. I can’t get out of bed without Hope.” I asked him what changed him from the guy who could not get out of bed to a guy who could write those lines and believe them. He says: “I have re-embraced Hope. I engaged a way of life that I feel I can bring about positive change, both in my life and in others.”
Thank you Tom!