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"Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles."
Amanda Krug, author of a story I will never forget, "Vanessa's Legacy", shares another beautiful story of an amazing woman who embodies the word "Hope".
"Hope When I Need Her"
by Amanda Krug
Have you ever known someone who truly fit her name? Most of us certainly "look" like the name that our parents chose for us, fitting the bill as a Susan, or a Janet, or a Tom, or a Joseph. And some people have unique or unusual monikers that seemingly melt over their personalities like the creamy coating on candies inside a box of Valentine's chocolates. Come to think of it, I have only run across a handful of people whom I felt didn't fit their name. Most people just do. But, have you ever known someone whose name embodies the very essence of who they are?
I have. Her name is Hope. And within the heart of this lovely lady dwells a perfect example of charity and benevolence, an endless source of unconditional love. A true vision of the name she carries....hope.
Hope is a woman who always has her hands in any good deed going on, but who prefers to stand in the wings and not in the forefront of the activity, although she's probably the one who has worked the hardest and the longest to bring respite to the weary, comfort to the downtrodden, or fun and interest to a gathering. You might even have to look purposefully to notice her presence as her service is given as silently and refreshingly as an unexpected cool breeze on a scorching hot day.
A few years ago, I witnessed firsthand the true strength of her character as Hope valiantly cared for her dying mother. Day after day, she tended to her physical needs but was also careful to tenderly nurture her mother's sense of humor throughout her illness. When I would ask her how her mom was doing, Hope would manage a smile and, in her classic optimistic style, share warm stories about their antics and corny jokes. We'd talk a little bit about the illness, but not dwell on it. She understood her mother's need to experience joy among the pain and was willing to set aside her own fears and sorrow to allow that to happen. Bravely, she shared hope with her Mother, providing a bit of happiness at a time when despair could have easily taken over.
There isn't a baby born that Hope doesn't coo and cuddle and admire down to the finest detail! I am convinced she remembers more about my children when they were infants than I do! She can recite intimate details of memories that have long been tucked away or have already begun to fade. Hope reminds me that everyone is worth remembering!
About a month after the burial of my twin sons, who were stillborn, Hope arrived with a beautifully wrapped package containing two ceramic angels and a note that read "In remembrance of Max and Ben". I hadn't told anyone that my husband and I were struggling, feeling very alone, like the world had moved on and left us behind in our grief, but somehow she knew. That act of compassion brought us hope in knowing we were not alone, that we had not been forgotten --better still, that our babies had not been forgotten.
But her compassion did not end there. Even five years later, Hope continues to visit their little gravesite whenever she can. We'll pass at church and she'll casually say "Hey, Amanda, I saw the twins the other day". I just grin and reply, "You did?" She surely has no idea how that makes my heart soar! It is a happy moment to know she thinks of them too and it is worth her time to stop.
One morning, after noticing she had looked especially worried at church the day before, I called Hope to check on her and to remind her she was loved and being thought of. As we chatted, she quietly said "We go back a long way, don't we, Amanda". We do indeed! Hope is my friend. She is what I consider a true friend; someone who will, in some capacity, remain with me throughout my whole life as she has since the first day I met her about twelve years ago. Oddly, our friendship doesn't consist of get-togethers or outings, long phone conversations, shared secrets or anything else one might consider when talking about a true friend. Our daily activities take us in different directions, I guess, but that hasn't prevented an impenetrable bond to form between us. We have formed a friendship of trust and understanding, an I'll-watch-your-back-while-you-watch-mine companionship. Hope is someone I will never need to doubt whether she cares or wonder if she would be there for me. I know that no matter what lies ahead in my life, whatever trials I face, whatever blessings I'll be granted, I will always find Hope, because, just as her name implies, she's always been my hope when I have needed her.
Amanda Krug copyright 2001
Most of the time I'm the busy mom to four perfect-for-me children (Abby, Lilli, Evan, Grant) and wife to one incredible husband (Michael). But, once in awhile, I lay down my dishtowel and sit down to the keyboard with the hope that I can share a story with you. My past 2theHeart stories include Vanessa's Legacy and An Unfinished Memory. I also have a story in the new book Heartwarmers of Love.
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The Letter Box:
What a beautiful tribute "The Champion" was. I grew up with a neighbor who was a second grandmother to me. Since I was raised by my father alone, Glenda was my only female role model. She taught me to love and accept not only all others as they are, but also myself. She once told me that for others to respect me, I must first respect myself. She was a great lady who represented a great deal to me. Her complete acceptance for me as I was as a child helped shape me into a happy adult. I owe my champion a huge debt of gratitude and to you as well for sharing this lovely memory. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your story about Helen. I too had a champion. My mother. She never let me feel that I was inadequate in any way, always loved me no matter what my choices were, and sacrificed a lot for me. She passed away last December and she will always be my hero and champion.
Once again I opened my email only to find you and your family are in need of Prayers and love. I'm sure it goes without saying you will receive from all corners of this Great Earth. Susan you have let us be a part of your family. We have shared your joys and sorrows now it is time for US to give back to you.
Prayers and Hersheys,
~Geneva Keever email@example.com
Your story about Mrs. Griffin was lovely. I had a dear old friend like her when I was a little girl. She made me feel very special. She lived next door to us, and was much like a grandmother to me. She was a British lady. She often invited me over for tea, though not as elegant as the repast you shared with Mrs. Griffin.
Her name was Mrs. Wilcox. She would call me over and we "sewed" together. She supplied me with lovely scraps of fabric, and pretty bits of lace. She taught me to thread a needle, and knot the end of the thread. I sewed little whatnots for my dolls while she darned socks, and mended other items of clothing.
We moved away when I was 12, but often went to visit her. She had a sweet husband, who was also my friend, but Mrs.Wilcox was the lady who always had time to do special things with me. I loved that dear lady.
Thank you for sharing that sweet story.
"The Champion" is a wonderfully inspiring story. Thank you.
Making a difference, one story at a time!
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