It’s a word I’ve looked up in the dictionary and the thesaurus to strive for variety in our wish story copy and advertisements.
But it wasn’t until I faced my own personal tragedy that I truly learned the meaning of this word.
My uncle was in the hospital in critical condition. In his early fifties, my uncle was dying.
I have an ad to write for Make-A-Wish about hope and triumph. At a base level we say hope gives wish kids a faith that they’ll be okay. But that’s not really it.
Like my uncle, some wish kids don’t get a cure. That’s the nature of certain conditions.
Hope isn’t that if they truly believed it they’ll heal, walking and talking like the average 8-year-old. Just because I had hope, my uncle wasn’t going to wake up.
Hope is so much more than that.
In the face of personal tragedy, at times my family and I walked around with heavy hearts. We were absorbed with grief and pain - the image of our dying loved one.
But then there were days when the younger ones played a funny game and had everyone laughing.
Or I would go to work and I look at photos of excited, courageous kids and write stories about how they find strength in meeting their heroes. These moments filled me with a sense of peace - a feeling that there’s more in life to think about than consuming fear. That is hope.
Hope is sense of contentment and strength that takes us away from fear and negativity opening us up to accept the good. It pulled me away from anger, pain, guilt, sadness, confusion, and isolation – a mixture of grief-stricken emotions - to remember to enjoy life and experience goodness to the fullest extent.
That is what a Make-A-Wish experience does.
It gives a child - a family- a chance to feel excited. It gives them a chance to heal their hearts and their minds. And to remember the good.
Hope is the feeling I receive every day when I come into work - because Make-A-Wish reaches every life in its path and impacts it even more.
With hope, we open our hearts to the next step, whatever that may be.
I invite you to join me in that next step and share that spirit of hope on to wish kids and their families.