Hope is such a huge word. I’m glad to think of it for awhile like this:
“Hope has two beautiful daughters – their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”
~ St. Augustine
The other day when my cousins came into town from Virginia we made a stop at the Christmas Tree Shop and then on to Heid’s so they could get their coney fix. While at Heid’s, I saw a father, a short, stocky guy in a white golf shirt, get angry at his preteen daughter for not moving through the mustard area fast enough. (If you’ve been to Heid’s you know that there’s always a traffic jam at the corner of Cashier and Mustard.) This father grabbed the little girl’s arm and pushed her against the windows, growling at her to move out of the way. He did this in a low tone with a clenched jaw, as if it were a scene replayed often. I was immobilized by the sight of his hairy hand squeezing her arm and wanted to call him out right there. But he and his daughters headed outside while I made my way to an inside table. I got up a few minutes later to peer out the window and saw the little family eating right below me; they seemed to be eating their lunch as if nothing had happened. At the very end of our meal, they came inside for a rest room break. I was holding my last french fry when I saw him, and that fry seemed like a perfect item to catapault ten feet to the back of his white shirt. And as I went through the ramifications of launching it, I dipped it in ketchup. I came to my senses and ate it quickly so I wouldn’t be tempted to release it. But my anger over his hurtful actions caused me to LOUDLY discuss the horrible way some fathers treat their children, touching them and hurting them because of their own anger issues. I punctuated some of the dissertation with the word “prick”, and he turned around to look my way. His daughter looked embarrassed; he didn’t.
I’m sure Hope’s daughter, Courage, would’ve handled the whole scene differently. But for that part of that day, I became Hope’s other daughter. It just doesn’t feel like enough.