Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hope Will Not Be Extinguished...

It was 40 days ago we stood at the cemetery, April wind blowing through our hair, gathered around the casket of a family member. The heels on my sandals sank into the saturated grass, dowsed with a heavy rain the night before. My teenage daughter and I stood with linked arms supporting each other through our grief and tears. A Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army in full military uniform stood to attention ready to address the quiet mourners. He removed from his pocket, a single white sheet of paper. With shaking hands and legs and a quiver in his voice, he delivered a passionate and heartfelt story recounting the numerous times he was impacted by the man we were burying. This soldier was not family by blood but by choice – choosing to honor our heroic family member with the title “dad”. This decorated officer, who committed his life to serve a purpose greater than himself, struggled to speak each word, choking back the tears while he stood alone in front of the crowd. For 20 minutes we listened to a courageous leader share nugget after nugget of extraordinary wisdom – he touched the hearts of everyone in attendance.

Sorrow shows up without invitation...but it cannot extinguish hope.

The sorrow was still with us, but we saw a new hope in this soldier’s words. He was evidence of a life that was changed because one man took the time to mentor and share his wisdom with another. We stood taller and felt proud to be part of such a giving family.

Now just 40 days after that unforgettable event, we are mourning the death of the Lieutenant Colonel who was killed during duty in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber.

Sorrow shows up without invitation…but it cannot extinguish hope.

Today our hearts are filled with even deeper sorrow. It seems to take more courage than before to find hope in this horrific circumstance. Twenty-four hours have passed since this news shook my world. I now have begun to rise up and choose to look for the hope – a choice everyone has to make on their own.

Just a few months ago, I began a new venture called The Wisdom Project. I’ve spent all my time and efforts gathering stories of Wisdom, for a book, from women around the world. The foundation of this project lies in the hope that when one person shares their wisdom – another person is strengthened. This is the hope I wish to give to others to encourage and inspire generations. This is the hope I want to pass on.

All this sorrow came into my life without an invitation, but the hope will not be extinguished. It will live on through The Wisdom Project.

For questions about The Wisdom Project go to:

To submit a story, please send an email to:

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