On March 13th at 3pm in the afternoon, my 2nd grader got into the backseat of my car after school and said a two worded sentence that forever changed my life, "Victoria died". Victoria was the sister of another 2nd grader on our fall soccer team who was in the 4th grade and had been struggling with cancer for the last three years. In this unexpected moment, my heart sank with pain and grief for the family and everyone who knew her.
When I went to the Celebration of Life Service several weeks later, I was far more emotional than I could have ever imagined. I hardly knew this little girl, though I knew her parents and younger sister. I had never personally experienced the grief of a child passing away nor had I ever known a child battling cancer. I have obviously seen fundraising efforts in the community whether it was a walk, run or ride. I have also seen the fundraisers for St. Jude's or other Children's Research Centers in the checkout line at the grocery store. Now that I knew someone, it became a lot more personal. I realized that these organizations are not just asking people for money but also giving people hope.
Hope is one of those things that many of us rarely consciously think about until something tragic occurs. Then it seems like we are desperate for it and can't get enough of it. The interesting thing about hope is that it often brings people together as if it is our human survival instinct.
As I was sitting here writing this blog post and staring at the word HOPE, I had an interesting thought, "what if HOPE was made into an acronym, what would it stand for?". Almost instantly it came to me, Helping Other People Everyday. To me, that is what HOPE is all about and it saddens me that we only think of it in times of tragedy or when we want something for ourselves. What if instead we focused on helping other people everyday? That is the kind of world that I would love to live in.
I challenge you to start giving HOPE away every chance you get. Especially during the times when it seems inconvenient. Slow Down. Take a Breath and help other people everyday. Make it your mission to always be giving HOPE away.