Introducing Hope Heroes!
I’m soooooo excited to share this news with you today!!!
My mission in creating this space to uplift and inspire has been based on serving every one of you who has taken the time to click and open and read the words I’ve written. As I’ve said before, I believe this life we live in can, unfortunately, be freaking hard. We ALL have struggle — every single one of us. And yes- even that person in front of you in carpool line with the freshly washed car and the wrinkle and stain-free white button-down and the size 0 skinny jeans with the well mannered kids and the perfectly mowed lawn and the dogs who actually sit and stay instead of jumping up and knocking over anyone who dares walk through their freshly painted front door. Nothing is as it seems, and sometimes it’s the people we least expect who are struggling the most.
It’s because of this common struggle we all face that I feel we can relate to one another, even as our individual circumstances look drastically different.
Some of us struggle with depression, others with financial issues, maybe infertility is your battle or addiction. Some of us have experienced infidelity or have lost a loved one. Perhaps you or a family member has been diagnosed with a deadly disease, or your child faces some health challenges. Fill in your unique blank because we all have something.
Since I launched the Hits of Hope blog, I’ve been truly overwhelmed by your responses to my story, and, for that, I genuinely thank you. But this got me thinking- my story is my own and, even though my goal is to highlight the relatable threads, so we are all able to feel moved or inspired by my opening up, I think there is room for more. I think we can benefit from MORE stories, other people’s stories, heroic stories.
I believe that being human is, in itself, heroic. Just by living and breathing and being, we are each heroic in our efforts. That being said, I also believe that there are people whom I’ve been blessed to know who’ve called upon their heroism in unique ways. These rock stars have shown a certain level of courage and resilience that we can honor and celebrate- and the cool thing is that it’s a kind of courage and resilience that we ALL have access to within ourselves. These people remind us of the strength we all can find when we dig deep enough.
I am deeply honored to be able to introduce these courageous people to you now. Starting this week, I am going to roll out my “Hope Heroes.” These individuals will share with us a little bit about their struggles and how hope showed up for them. As we will see, hope does not always look pretty, and it’s not always the thing we want to see or accept, but it’s always, always present.
Some stories will share names and pictures of the featured hero. Others will remain anonymous. Either way, I know we will all be able to learn from these inspiring humans, and maybe, just maybe, we will heal a small part of our souls that might have felt the same struggle.
If you have someone in your life whom you feel is heroic, please contact me through the contact page on my website and let me know about them. Let’s spread this fearless hope far and wide.
As always, thank you so much for giving me your precious time and for trusting me with your heart.
In love and hope,
Hope Hero Jennifer Burdette
Photo: Jennifer with her daughters, Caroline and Olivia
Meet Jennifer Burdette. Jenn is 42 years old and lives in Wilmington, N.C. She has two daughters- Olivia (12) and Caroline (10). In 2007, Jenn lost her father to complications from a bone marrow transplant. Jenn’s father, Bill, was a kind, loving, fun, and vibrant man. The death of her father was devastating for Jenn and for everyone who was fortunate enough to know Bill Craig. Jenn is also my second cousin J
J: When my father was diagnosed (twice) with cancer, I had to dig deep into hope and find ways in which to stay positive for him and for my mom. I remember getting the call from the oncologist and hearing their serious tone. That made me so sad because I knew what a struggle it was going to be not only physically but mentally for my sweet dad. He never gave up hope and kept a positive attitude throughout his entire treatment. This motivated me to stay hopeful and positive.
It’s funny how the patient motivates the family sometimes.
Hope expressed itself in many ways with us. It came from the caregivers (nurses, doctors, medical staff), it came from loved ones who showed support with letters, visits, food, photos, and moments of laughter. Being able to laugh and remember fun times with my dad, even when he was the sickest he could be, was helpful in providing him and our family with hope.
I would say LAUGHTER brings the most hope for me- even if I am sad immediately after I laugh.
Photo: Bill Craig with his trademark smile
Me: Jenn, did you ever want to give up on hope?
J: Absolutely! My dad motivated me to stay positive and focused on healing though.
If I could give advice to anyone going through something similar, I would say: listen to the patient and follow their lead.
Me: Jenn, what does the word hero mean to you?
J: To me, a hero is a person who inspires goodness in others.
Me: Time for the speed round, so our readers can get to know you a little bit better.
Where is your happy place and who are you with?
J: My home or the beach with my family.
Photo: Jennifer with her two daughters
Me: Dream vacation spot?
Me: Spirit animal?
J: A wolf
Me: Favorite book?
J: A Secret Life of Bees, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Prince of Tides.
Me: All-time favorite song?
J: Imagine by the Beatles
Me: Favorite TV show?
J: Jane the Virgin (Netflix)
Me: If you could have a drink with 3 people (dead or alive), who would they be?
J: My dad, Oprah, Lincoln
Me: Anything you’d love for the world to know?
J: Love what you do!
Photo: Jennifer with her daughters Caroline and Olivia