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A few years ago, while going through a rough time, I found a ring in my jewelry box that had been given to me while I was still in high school.  At the time, if felt like someone was telling me to hang on, that things would get better.  But I needed the reminder so I slipped the ring onto the thumb of my left hand and it’s been there ever since.

The ring simply reads “HOPE”.

Since then, I’ve had my share of bad days.  I’ve also had my share of good ones. We all do.

As I stood under the spray of my shower bright and early this morning, I was cursing the fact that it was 4:40 in the morning and I was already awake.  I’m leading a meeting this morning that starts at 7:00 so I bumped my alarm back because I wanted to keep up the new morning routine.  It felt so early and I was contemplating just going back to bed for an hour after the shower.

And then I saw my ring.  “HOPE”

That one little word changed my entire attitude.

The meeting I’m leading is to plan activities focusing on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is coming up in September.  Our office has decided to do something special this year to raise money in support of our pediatric oncology program.  More importantly, we’re remembering those we’ve lost to childhood cancer while also celebrating survivorship.

This morning, I’ll be meeting with people who have been personally touched by the disease.  And if you’ve met someone in this situation, you’ll know they are full of hope.  They don’t need a ring as a reminder.  They have to simply look at their child and they are filled with hope for a better tomorrow.  Hope that a cure will be found.  Even hope that their child’s legacy will live on no matter the outcome of their treatment.

My job is so busy and overwhelming some days.  But when I get to work on a project like this, I too am filled with hope.  The positive attitude of these families, who will do anything to make a difference for people who are in a similar situation, is infectious.  I feel so blessed for the life I’ve been given, for the chance to help them in a meaningful way, and for the fact that I’m only up so early to run a meeting at a job I love.

But I will keep my ring on.  Because some days I know I will still need the reminder.

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