Hope You Dance

Yesterday a man was sentenced in the Grafton County Superior Court. What differentiates this sentencing from many others I’ve been involved in is the quality of the man being sentenced.

The defendant is so obviously a good and decent man, that it is especially hurtful to watch liberty being taken from him.The man in question has MS. This is a disease with which I have some familiarity as my father-in-law suffered from that disease. As with many afflicted with MS, our client suffered from bouts of depression. As many know – it’s very difficult to deal with depression and sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

As part of dealing with depression, drugs are often prescribed. They are prescribed for a number of different reasons – to include difficulties with sleeping. Sometimes, the pills don’t
work, so you take 2 instead of 1. It happens. As you struggle with the depression and with sleep, other issues evolve. The solution is always more pills. Pills get piled onto pills and before you
know it, you have a cocktail. Some cocktails are more potent than others. Indeed, some cocktails are toxic and toxic cocktails can lead to aberrant behavior.

While our client got a sentence I consider too harsh given the circumstances (we are all entitled to an opinion and that is mine), I remain hopeful that he will be out of jail within a reasonable period of time.

As he begins to serve his sentence, I want him to know and anyone else who reads this to know, how proud I am of our client. He took responsibility for what he did and that doesn’t always happen. However, taking responsibility has its consequences – in this case a period of incarceration.

Our defendant has lead an exemplary life. This life was interrupted by a disease and thecure that goes with that disease. The cure got in the way and now – for a while – our client’s life will be disrupted. But men like our defendant endure. You cannot kill their spirit.
Our client will survive all of this because he is a man of character and I still think that character counts.

This morning is Good Friday. This is a day that is meaningful to me and to our defendant. Good Friday is all about hope. Because this is Good Friday, I want to offer our defendant some inspiration.

It comes from the first verse of Lee Ann Womack’s song I Hope You Dance. These words are wonderful and uplifting. They are most appropriate on this Good Friday.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.