If You Ever Lose Hope...

One day

she lost hope.

She looked for it in the darkness that now enveloped her.

She could not find it.

Many things, however, emerged from the shadows 
and found their way to her.

Ugly things.

Painful things.

Injustice stormed in, thundering,

“What has been will 



Sorrow sank into her soul and vowed, 

in a voice as quiet as tears that drown,

“I will never leave you.”

Fear arrived



and staked its claim to all her thoughts and feelings

as it whispered,




But there were also other voices.

Other words.

Gifts from the Survivors.

The Survivors—

those who had met the whiplash of

“I will break you”

with an indomitable


those who had defied the flames of 

“Destroyed forever”

with a blazing


those who had followed the commands of their capsized boats

"Swim until

you reach the shore

and then


—they had crossed paths with her.

Each Survivor had planted words of hope within her,

and through repetition,

ensured that their messages took root

for when, not if,

she needed those words.

Survivors know there is always a “when.”

But not wanting to scare her, they always spoke “if.”

“If you ever lose hope,”

one Survivor had told her,

“retrace your steps.

Find the moment you last had it.

Take it with you.”

In her mind she journeyed to a place

that her feet could not carry her: the past.

She found the last moment the sun had blazed 
not above her but within her, 
and raised towards its golden beams 
all that remained of her light: 
an extinguished candle. 

“Kindle a fire that will guide me in the present 
and illuminate a path to the future,” 
she pleaded.


Orange flames consumed wick and wax instantaneously, 
then shed milk-white tears as their glow dimmed 
and their voices all but failed them. 

“We’re sorry. We’re not coming with you.” 

“If you ever lose hope,”

another Survivor had told her...

The other Survivors' messages are coming in September 2021. :)

You can sign up here to be notified when the book is available.


A few more details:  

formats: ebook, paperback, hardcover 
age range: 14 to 114
word count: 1100
pages: 140
illustrations: 54

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