The Audacity of Hope
(Story about my journey by Tlaki Nyantumba, Member of FWoC, Wavemaker SA)
How does one keep hoping for a better tomorrow? How does one keep the faith, when life is constantly subjecting You to a point of giving up, When your faith is like a thread, Your energy is completely sapped, But Everyday as sunlight rises in the east, You also have to rise up and dare to hope. That’s what I call the audacity of hope. Keep on keeping on….going into the battlefield of life, armed with nothing but Your Heartbeat.
It all began in October of 2003. When I took the plunge to leave my formal employment and start my own business. With sheer determination and my Love for the finest bed linen and my wish that people will share my passion and receive this new imported bed linen with excitement and great support. Unfortunately that was not to be. The business failed in its first year of existence, taking along all of my life savings.
Not to be the one to give up easily, I went into my second business. This time slightly different. Owning a flower-shop was like a dream. I was enjoying every minute of it, until the big recession came in 2008 and most companies couldn’t keep up and had to cut out most luxury items like Flowers. Here I was once again facing foreclosure, just that by this time I had my second baby. My son was born in 2006.
As fate will have it my husband had lost his entire investment in a business that he and his partner wanted to start with, but failed before it took off.
The beginning of downwards spiral of everything and anything. Loosing my home, my cars, my self-worth…, and then my health!!!
In 2010 I started feeling weak and lethargic most of the time. Just wanted to sleep all the time. I simply attributed my lack of enthusiasm to my depressed state and didn’t pay much attention. During this time I was just hustling with small jobs here and there, just to keep food on the table for my two kids and my unemployed husband who was struggling to get a job in his field of speciality.
Until one day in August 2014 I got so sick I could barely stand. That Sunday evening I was finally admitted into the hospital and series of tests were done. The number one most worrying factor that doctors picked up was that I was so anaemic that I had to be transfused with 10 pints of bloods just to get me to a semi normal range of an adult person. I continued to stay in hospital until I was a bit better for more tests to be done.
One morning one of the doctors who were treating me came in and sat on my bed next to me and calmly said ‘I would like to do some biopsy on You. I have identified a mass that is worrying me and I suggest we have checked it out.’.
Then he came back the following morning and delivered the news that left me numb. They had found the cancer.
And I guess in my state of disbelief I somehow compelled the doctor to do the second biopsy, and also due to his sheer diligence this time he said he wants to cut a bigger chunk just to assure himself and the oncologist.
The results came back and it was confirmed…Now What??? I’m lying there thinking ‘I have two small kids!!! This cannot be happening…’. Looking back I can see in hindsight that no matter how dark your situation maybe, there will always be something that will push You to wanting to live. And in my case it was my two small kids.
My chemotherapy treatment started immediately after I got out of hospital. Experiencing the brutal chemotherapy was like the baptism of fire. Leaving the body so weak and all your hair falling off.
Consequences brought by illness are going to be felt for a long time, and with most of the financial losses being felt to this day. This brings the question to my mind, how do You keep hoping? Where does one get the audacity to keep hoping for the better?
Well, the only answer that I can give is that through adversity we develop tenacity. We become resilient. And our tears become the water that our seeds need to grow.
By allowing Your Faith to carry You when You feel that You cannot carry yourself. Telling yourself that for as long as You are still breathing, Then You are going to stay on the battlefield called Life until You find out why You are still here. What’s Your purpose in life.
Mine is to serve, to inspire, to let someone know that it’s okay. Life is one big university with the fees payable everyday.
And most of all, don’t personalize any form of pain or adversity, because it’s not your identity.