Well, it comes in two parts...
The "Hope Floats" comes from the movie--which I love--and sob my eyes out anytime I watch it. Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses. And who doesn't love to look at Harry Connick, Jr.? Or listen to him talk? Or sing? But more so, I can relate to the storyline in coming to terms with life just isn't going to happen the way I thought it would and how to rebuild when it came tumbling down. The love and support of family and friends goes a long way. And it is when you are at your lowest that you really find out who your real friends are and just how strong your relationships are with the people in your life. I have been very blessed with the many amazing people in my life--those who I have known for years, those who I have met recently along the way, and those who I continue to meet.
And I think one quote in the movie stands out, if it isn't already obvious.
"Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will..." ~ Birdee Pruitt, in the movie Hope Floats
I've held onto hope and continue to do so. I pray to God to let me hold onto hope and for it to still be alive in me when I just don't think I can take any more or get any lower. As my life was continuing to turn upside down and sideways and upside down again, I'd ask God to give me the strength to trust and believe that it would all turn out okay. And with some of the blows that came my way, I would sometimes turn to a friend and say, half chuckling/half holding back the tears, so just when you didn't think it could get any worse...it just did! (There were many "it's funny, but it's not" moments and I had to try to find the humor somewhere in it because sometimes you are just tired of crying.) And then there were/are the moments that all I could/can do was/is cry. At one point, I felt like my life was in a constant free fall and I was just waiting to finally hit bottom. I held onto hope that eventually, I would get to that place so that I could start coming back to the top.
I would say that I am not completely sure about the strength of where I am standing right now in my life. Someone said to me, you might be thinking you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you are just hoping it is not a train. I don't know what it is...a little voice of doubt, a pause, or cautious optimism...but I try to put it aside and trust in God that it will all be alright and refocus on the blessings in my life. I have a much better sense and understanding of what it means to give it up to God and to just keep going and do the best I can each day by making the most of it.
The "Cherry Blossoms" comes from an evolving symbol that is meaningful to me. Actually, at one point I had considered getting a tattoo while in the middle of some of the more messy points in this chapter in my life. But then again, tattoos are so permanent and I am not a big fan of pain. But I had put a lot of thought into it as far as if I were ever to get a tattoo, what would I pick? (Of course, I would not want something cartoony. It would have to be more delicate and watercolor/sketchy in an artistic kind of nature.)
So, I thought about my heritage and what symbols may be relatable there. I looked up some Irish inspired tattoos. They seemed a bit harsh for my taste, but many had a nature theme. I tried to look up Finish symbols and was not having much luck. But what few symbols I could find, not necessarily tattoos, also followed a nature type theme. I also looked up symbols for words that seemed to hold some significance for me. I liked the idea of rebirth, renewal, and sisu. Sisu is a Finnish word for a concept or quality to describe inner determination. Then, I thought about something I had read talking about the parallels between the Finnish and Japanese cultures. So, I started to look up Japanese symbols and it was the cherry blossom that spoke to me. It represents renewal with its blossoms and the timing of spring. The color green in the leaf sprouts that accompany the flowering branches hint at what is to come and touch on hope.
So there it is! My inspiration for the title of my blog!