Where Do I Find Hope?

There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope and its endurance… there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

This Love Chapter of I Corinthians was a part of my brother and sister-in-laws wedding one year ago. And then it was part of their memorial service just six months later. Roger Lane and Dana Nelson Lane were laid to rest in the beautiful Florida Everglades on May 11, I996 in the crash of ValuJets Flight 592.

We cannot know or understand why two beautiful, vibrant young people can be taken from their loved ones in such a tragic way. How can we feel hopeful again after such a senseless loss?

What gives me hope in the wake of such grief is knowing that love does endure forever, that energy is eternal, that the love of Roger and Dana is with us now and forever. We who loved them know this; we have experienced their loving energy in many ways.

I find hope in my memories of two happy young people who exuded love for each other, and love for life, for music, and for the beauty of this earth. They knew how to play and have fun; how to appreciate life. They were avid seekers of truth. And they were givers: they planned to leave their home and jobs to volunteer for two years of service work in Venezuela. Their love of life inspires in me a greater appreciation for life. Their dedication to love gives me hope.

Danas bumper sticker gives me hope: Lifes A Joy And Then You Ascend. It reminds me to fully enjoy my life here. I need to be reminded at times that this life I have been given is precious, a privilege not to be taken for granted. Life is an opportunity to grow and enjoy the bounteous gifts of this earth. If I can maintain this perspective, my life can truly be a joy. And that bumper sticker reminds me to keep my faith that there is an even better life on the other side. It gives me hope for the present as well as the future. It gives me hope to make it through my grief because I know they truly are in a better place.

I find hope in the truth that comes out of the mouths of babes A little friend of my brothers, three-year-old Sparks, woke up recently very excited by a dream she had. I saw God, she exclaimed to her mother, and he said, Roger and Dana are with Him and they are very healthy!

My faith gives me hope: my faith that there is a plan and that there is a Master Planner,” a Higher Power,” a Great Spirit there is God, and that God is love. Being made in Gods image, we are creatures of love. We see proof of that love in our relationships with each other, in the ecstasy of lovers, in a newborn baby, and in the joy we experience in nature, in music, and in prayer and meditation.

Something Roger once wrote gives me pause: The largest trees in the world must have the heat of a forest fire to start their seeds to germinate. Without fire, no redwoods! My faith in a master plan gives me hope, even in times of despair, that there is a purpose to our lives, that there are answers out there, and this fuels m search for truth. lt gives me hope, not only for my life, but for all humankind and for our earth.

We who grieve must find the hope to live on and ultimately to allow our loss to be our teacher, our inspiration to love more deeply, to live more fully. l find hope in the words of Danas Poem,” written for her wedding: We join with strength and joy not knowing what is to come, but willing and wanting to explore and learn, gaining wisdom along the way.

My faith in our divine origin and destination, that we come from God and return to God, gives me a spiritual sense of direction. My belief that death is a new beginning, the fulfillment for which we were created, helps me to transcend the struggles and pain of this life. This faith liberates and empowers me and is the belief upon which my hope ultimately rests.

Love endures all things. This gives me hope that Roger and Dana and the beautiful love they shared are still with those of us they left behind. Love will help us endure the pain. Faith will keep us steady, knowing that in the end we will understand about life and death (and redwoods). And hope will help us find a way to live fully as they did and to love as they did and to remember that life truly is a joy and then…we ascend!

Marilyn Lane-Morgan lost her brother Roger Lane and sister in-law, Dana Lane, aboard ValuJet 592, May 11, 1996 in the Florida, Everglades

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