Tomorrow's Hope: Giving Thanks for Hope
Barbara R. Endl, daughter, sister, wife, mother, community member and President of Tomorrow's Hope shares her reasons for being grateful. Pictured below are photos from Tomorrow's Hope events.
She walked out of her brother's bedroom. He was dying. She had had many conversations with him but this one was different. During this conversation, which she knew would be one of her last significant conversations; she asked him what she was going to do without him. His gentle response was simple, "help the people who've helped us."
He hugs me with tears streaming down his cheeks. He's built big and strong. Worn and weathered from working outdoors for his entire career. He thanks me for the help his daughter has received because of Tomorrow's Hope.
He's 18-years-old. He participates in Tomorrow's Hope in memory of his dad. It's been three years now. He remembers it like yesterday. It feels like forever. He wraps his arms around his Mom and little sister. He's the man of the house now.
She reaches up from her wheelchair. She's frail with a frame so small I'm afraid I'll crush her with my hug. Her eyes are big with excitement. She is comforted knowing her kids could participate in this unique opportunity and will remember it when she is gone.
All the education and experience in the world can't prepare you for the challenges life will present. All the 'cool' you ever had just flies out the window when illness touches your life. It's no longer 'over there.' It's right here and it's worse than any bad dream you've ever had because you can't wish it away.
We also now know we are forever changed. There is emptiness along with a maturity that comes from these experiences that sets us apart from others. And now, we understand the path others have journeyed before us. We are connected with them forever.
It is this connection that drives and motivates us to give back. It is this connection that makes us understand that each one of them needs what we as an organization offer - hope, healing and the opportunity to give back. It is these characteristics that make Tomorrow's Hope one of the most powerful organizations I've ever been blessed to be a part of.
I don't know what the future will bring. What I do know, however, is that I have been blessed. My journey in life changed dramatically when cancer touched the life of my loved ones. It is through them I have discovered my passion in life. Other than family, I have never done anything as rewarding or fulfilling as Tomorrow's Hope.
"Help the people who've helped us." At this time of year when we give thanks and reflect on our blessings, what greater gift could we give?
About Tomorrow's Hope
In April 1998, a group of volunteers met to organize a fund-raiser that would have an impact on people of Southern Wisconsin touched by life-limiting illnesses.
Today, volunteers and sponsors from throughout the United States contribute to the success of Tomorrow's Hope.