Hope: Reflections

This Post is dedicated to Rodger H. Elofson, Sr. “Buddy” and Dr. William Smith

Hope Defintion:

a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
“he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information”
synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; More
a person or thing that may help or save someone.
“their only hope is surgery”
grounds for believing that something good may happen.
“he does see some hope for the future”
synonyms: hopefulness, optimism, expectation, expectancy; More
antonyms: pessimism
a feeling of trust.
verb: hope; 3rd person present: hopes; past tense: hoped; past participle: hoped; gerund or present participle: hoping
want something to happen or be the case.
“he’s hoping for an offer of compensation”
synonyms: expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one’s hopes on, want; More
intend if possible to do something.
“we’re hoping to address all these issues”
synonyms: aim, intend, be looking, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire More

late Old English hopa (noun), hopian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoop (noun), hopen (verb), and German hoffen (verb).
Translate hope to
Use over time for: hope

Romans 5
New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This was my father-in-law Buddy’s favorite Bible Verse which I just sent to my niece, in Navy Cadet School. My husband’s favorite concept is perseverance.  Bucky’s dad, living with significant heart issues and pancreatic cancer for eleven years (the doctors told him his life expectancy was  one year, at best three years!), is an impressive role model of hopeful perseverance.

My Uncle Billy (my mother/Melba’s, youngest brother), has inspired me with his hopeful perseverance through difficult trials with health issues and death. I asked him to write to me about his hope and here is his email.

Dear Tracey,

I’ve not thought of myself as being inspirational , but thank you for the compliment

When I think about hope, I also think of faith. To me, hope and faith are intertwined. you can’t have one without the other. I have a small placard on my desk, right by a photograph of Gay, that says: With faith, all things are possible. That is an excerpt from Matthew 17:20:” I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Shannon gave the placard to me after Gay’s death.

I was a patient at the Lake after being diagnosed with esophageal carcinoma. The treatment protocol was for a month of combined therapeutic radiation and chemotherapy prior to surgery. I chose a vascular surgeon who had performed the surgery for my abdominal aneurysm. On September 11, 2001 (9/11) he came to see me and said, “Bill, your chances are not good.”, and with that he made the sign of the cross and marched out of the room with his cute little nurse. I could hardly believe he had said that. I knew that my prognosis was poor when I read in the Merck Manual that the five year survival rate for patients with esophageal cancer was ten percent, but to offer no hope, I thought was inexcusable. I called Gay, and that’s the only time I ever heard her call someone a s.o.b. I then saw Dr. Benton Dupont. After reviewing my record, X-rays and MRI, he told Gay and me that my prognosis was excellent because my malignancy was Stage I with no evidence of metastasis. He was embarrassed when I embraced him. He gave me hope.

Faith and hope got me through a bad time when Gay was desperately ill with a post-operative staph infection following low back surgery. She developed septicemia with fever as high as 105. I went to the hospital chapel and prayed for her survival and help with five children and a medical practice to care for. Your mother came to stay with the children until things got better; that’s the kind of person she was. She gave me hope.

I still struggle with grief and depression over losing Gay. When she was terminal, one day she said to me,”Bill, I’m afraid.” I reminded her of the hymn at church: Be Not Afraid. The lyric says “Be not afraid, I go before you always, Come follow Me, And I will give you rest.” I know you are having a bad time in your life, and I wish I could do something to help. I keep you, Bucky, and the girls in my nightly prayers.

I know Melba and Merle are watching over you, so try not be not afraid.

Love to all,

Uncle Billy

8 thoughts on “Hope: Reflections

  1. Tracey,
    You are the definition of perseverance. Every day is difficult for you. You are such a sensitive creature that this disease hits impacts all you do every day. You PERSEVERE through it all. Thank you for being here for me and our girls (young ladies)……..Bucky

  2. My sister has Sscerlosis of the Liver and was in a coma for 1 week. The doctor gave her a 1 1/2 yr. before that. She pulled through , that was 6 years ago. My preacher always told us as long as their is breath their is HOPE

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