On June 21st we cut the ribbon for the Eliza Hope Therapy Center. It was overwhelming to say the least but it was a beautiful and special day. It is the day I dreamed about all those months ago, during the hardest grief and shock I knew what I had to do. And now it is here and on Monday morning 8 boys and girls will be walking through the doors of The Eliza Hope Therapy Center.
I will think of Eliza. I will think of the pain of November 12th, I will think of all the bad days and all the good days. I will think about how it felt like I was floating through this process of building our center and how I was very simply guided though every twist and turn.
A few days before we opened I told someone very dear to me that it was crazy how long it took us to find this building and how I must not be very good at listening to God because every building I looked at I always had a “sign” that it was THE ONE. Wether it was a pinecone sticker on a window, or a playground in the back with huge pine trees each time I swore “This is it.” My friends response was very simple, maybe it was Gods way of giving me HOPE along this journey, to keep me going, to keep me from getting discouraged. As soon as she said it, I knew she was right. Hope and Trust and Love guided me right where we belong.
Thank you all so much for being here today to celebrate the opening of the Eliza Hope Therapy Center. 19 months ago Eliza went to heaven and just a few days after that, with help from my family and friends The Eliza Hope Foundation was born. I knew that some how we had to honor Eliza’s short but brave life and this is how we would do it.
From the beginning The mission of the Eliza Hope Foundation was to create a center that meets every need of a child diagnosed with Autism and other related disorders and that is what we have done and I know in my heart that it’s just the beginning.
I remember imagining what all of this would look like, I remember picturing a sign with Eliza’s name on it, that lit up at night. I imagined the little faces that would walk through the door everyday but I’m not sure that I ever imagined how it would feel. When the sign went up just last week I cried, I cried because my heart broke a little that Eliza would never see this beautiful center and I cried because I’m proud of everything we have accomplished.
Today I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement, your financial support and your daily reminders that Eliza was so loved. It’s because of each of you that we are here today celebrating the Eliza Hope Therapy Center.
This center belongs to all the families that have battled to find a place for their children to learn. This center belongs to all the the little boys and girls that struggle to communicate but have so much to teach us. This center belongs to all of us.
People ask me what I have learned during this process or what advise I can give to people going through something similar and I don’t really have any words of wisdom. Everything that I know now is actually pretty simple. Here it is.
Never give up even when the road seems too hard to go on.
Find purpose to get you through your hardest days.
Be Nice, you never know what someone is carrying with them.
And the most important is to always have Hope.
We miss you terribly Eliza but we have Hope that you are perfect and happy and we will see you again in the blink of an eye. Until then we will help as many families as we can, because that’s what you would want.
Thank you all so much for being here today,
I hope you love this center as much as we do.