Whenever I had something that was worrying me as a child, teen and young man, which by the way according to my mom would probably be reported as having occurred often – my mother use to tell me that “the darkest hour is always just before dawn”. As a young man going through the typical growing pains, trying to find my way as a man, I would seek the simplest responses from my mom that would provide an instantaneous resolution to my troubles.
Unfortunately, my mother never made the resolution instantaneous like I had hoped. Instead, my mother’s guidance while consisting of a simple eight words was anything but immediate. To put it mildly – back then I found her reply sort of empty and a waste of time.
Come On Mom…Not the Darkest Hour Again
My God, I would regularly say to myself “woman please tell me something that is going to change my situation – something that is going to make things better for me right now. Please don’t give me anymore of those “hand-me down” folk sayings”. Nonetheless, she would do just the opposite of what I had telepathically requested and she would say “the darkest hour is always just before dawn”. In my best Florida Evans declaration, I would say to myself “damn, damn, damn!”
Well this week, I found my mother’s advice and those “hand-me down” folks sayings comforting as Naeem and I traveled out of the country in pursuit of his dream and “opportunity” to progress towards professional soccer. Let’s just say for now (subject to the attorney’s resolution) that this adventure has not turned out with the promise that we anticipated when we departed.
I Know Mom…If You Can’t Say Anything Good, Don’t Say Anything At All
Not to spend much time on the bad moments but things were so bad the first night here, I went to bed wondering how things could possibly be any worse. Halfway across the world with nothing appearing as we expected, a disillusioned child and so many more bad things to record that you would have a hard time keeping count of them even if you were using Evernote – I heard the words of my mother “the darkest hour is always just before dawn”. Seemingly, all at once those words made perfect sense to me and the situation no longer seemed so daunting.
If the darkest hour is always JUST before dawn, then there are twenty-three hours that remain which are guaranteed to be better and brighter. A 23 out of 24 chance of things being better for the next twenty-three hours than at any time during the worst moment. You have to admit that’s a pretty good deal. Who knew but my mom was definitely on to something.
Mom Is This How The Lottery Works?
Who wouldn’t jump at those odds? Think about what you would do if someone offered you a chance to participate in the lottery and said you had a 23 out of 24 chance of winning, would you take the bet? I know I would and you would be a fool not to. Well without having to purchase a lottery ticket or put one-dollar down to take the bet, my mom’s words had reminded me that things were not as dire as I thought. In the words of Annie, “the sun would come up tomorrow”.
Guess what? Tomorrow really did come and ironically the sun actually arose – just like Annie said it would. In this desolate, cold, dreary location, where sunlight seemed to be rationed like universal health care and government cheese, I came to truly appreciate the value of my mother’s words.
Later that morning, I even shared those “hand-me down” words with my son. Upon hearing what I had to say, I suspect he appreciated my “hand-me down” philosophy about as much as I appreciated it when I was his age. My suspicion is that he was most likely telepathically saying to me “dude, are you serious?
Come on you must have something better than that to say to me.” Frankly, I didn’t have anything better to tell him. My mom, his grandmother, was right “the darkest hour is always just before dawn”.
This Too Shall Pass
We talked about our travels and his journey. I explained to him that despite the current trials and tribulation associated with our travels “this too shall pass” (another one of my mom’s favorite “hand-me down” expressions). I assured him as my mother had assured me time and time again that “the darkest hour is always just before dawn”.
Later that morning we had the fortune of putting a plan in place to remedy some of the disappointing issues before us. We worked on a strategy to get back on the right path so that his dreams will become a reality. We even found a way during this time to strengthen our already crazy-glue tight bond. This week we have seen what the darkest hour looks like and now we are beginning to enjoy the light of day.
Thanks, mom for passing down your “hand-me down” expressions. Now, neither your grandson nor I are afraid of the dark because we now know what you knew only too well…” the darkest hour is always just before dawn”.
Originally Published on The RS Project