Hope is a Good Thing

An incredible piece of thought-provoking theatre has my mind on overdrive.  Last night, Parasite Drag, at the Elephant Theatre, was two hours of my life  very well spent.  It was a beautifully written play, well produced, directed and acted by people I adore.  The play was tough on the heart, as it dealt with how a mother’s suicide affected her three children.  As adults, they were a smoldering hot mess.

The recent stories of gay teen suicides due to bullying has caused me to lose sleep at night.  I will never understand this kind of hatred.  They needed hope, and understanding.  Don’t we all?  It’s my life experience that suicide is the worst to process for those left behind.  The unanswered questions can eat at the soul.

In high school there were a couple of kids, and one couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything they could do to have stopped it.  How do we let our kids get to a place where they have absolutely no hope and feel the ONLY answer to their pain is to end it?  Are we listening to them?  Are we offering them hope?  Are we reaching out to them and talking about uncomfortable things and really hearing why they are hurting?

If you read my blog you know how much I adore my mother.  I do for many reasons, but the one I’m most grateful about is that she CHOSE me.  She and my dad adopted one of my brothers and me because we needed love and parents.  I wake up every day grateful for this.  My “birth mom” was a family member, and I have always been grateful that she chose to have me, and that she chose to let me go.  I have had a good life because of it.  When I had my first child, I did go through some things.  I think it only natural to have some visceral resentment because I couldn’t imagine doing anything to endanger my child, let alone the kind of neglect that leads to giving her away?  A few years after that, the birth mom chose to violently take her own life.  She set herself on fire and drove her car off a cliff.  Yes, I just wrote that, and yes, it really happened.  That isn’t theatre.  It is a part of my life.  It is one of the hard parts I carry with me, and because I have such a wonderful mother, I feel guilty even thinking about it sometimes.  What on Earth could have made her feel so hopeless?

My only solution is to continue to be hopeful myself.  That is the kind of life I want to lead.  That is the kind of life I want to make sure my children lead.  I don’t want to be too busy, too swamped, or too overwhelmed to listen to them, my friends, or anyone else I love.

During some very tough times, I tape this quote somewhere where I can read it, daily:

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  -Stephen King



  1. Gilberta said,

    October 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

    No need to ever feel guilty she loved you making sure you were safe. I love and think about her often and thank her for giving me you and your brother.

    Big Hugs


  2. Nicole said,

    October 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I needed this today . . . in a big huge way! Wow Heather, you have courage in addition to hope. I love you.

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