Hope is what you cling to when all things seem to be falling apart. When dark clouds surround everywhere around you, hope is the only light the shines through it all. It may seem small and meaningless, but when we keep hoping in the face of daunting challenges, our heart is made stronger.

Some years ago, I lost my Dad and it was one of the darkest moments of my life. It was a huge blow because Dad was like a pillar to me. He was a mentor, a friend, and an ever-present companion whenever I needed someone to talk to.

I had to adjust to the reality of life when things became tough after his demise. The one single thing that kept me going, was the hope that there was surely going to be light at the end of the tunnel. It was something that strengthened me even when everyone I was looking up to had abandoned me.

Things were so bad, that I literarily struggled all through my university program, as I had to sponsor myself. The pain of going through the journey was made worse when Mum died years later. It was painful seeing her go the way she went after years of battling several ailments.

Her death created a huge void in my heart. The void was so deep, that I cried bitterly the day I was informed of her demise. Amid the pain and distress, I refuse to give in to discouragement. In my life experience, I have come to discover that hope is what had held the fragments of my life together.

Hope made me see some ray of lights despite all the darkness that kept flooding my pathway. It kept me going when I should have given up. I held on when others felt I should have let go. It was never a pleasant experience.

Some days were so hard that I found it difficult to rise from my bed. The desire to fight was gradually waning and dwindling with each passing day. Some nights, I cried and remembered the last words of my Dad. They were words of hope and courage: “No matter what it takes, always aspire to the very top in all you do”.

He was lying on his sickbed, but he never stopped encouraging me, even when he knew he had a few months to live. The look on his eyes was that of a loving father who so much desired the best for his son. A father who sacrificed all he had to ensure one lived a better life.

Today, I look back and my heart is overwhelmed with joy. The joy of knowing that hope kept me in the path that few mortals walked. A path that was rough, windy but full of amazing tales that have inspired me to keep pushing and never give up.