Thursday, October 06, 2016


At Patrick Henry Family Services where I work we have a lot of programs whose name contains the word Hope. We have a Home of Hope. We have Foster Hope. We have Heroes of Hope. We have Hope for Tomorrow. Our job is to hold out hope!

Are you familiar with Erickson’s stages of development? If not you can check them out here:

One of the things that I find most interesting in the chart is that children who do not make it through that stage well — the ones who have trauma before age two or have attachment issues — have not mastered the virtue of hope. And how many of our clients and residents do we work with who have missed out on hope? A lot. But then, here we come.

I am blessed to be the daughter of a woman, who like me, is an optimist who always holds out hope to the people around her. If you my friend on Facebook you may have seen the picture of my parents that I took the fall before my Dad died. I relayed that I had spoken to my mother to wish her a Happy Anniversary (it would have been 54 years yesterday), and she said,, “Oh No! I have had a ball all day telling everyone about your Dad. I told them the story of how he proposed, and of our wedding, and the fact that I told him the week he died that he had given me a lifetime of wonderful memories.” Even though they had only been married for 50 years when he died, they had been in love for seventy years!

If you want to hear more of my mom and dad’s love story, you can find it here. And if you want to read more about their journey I blogged about it here:

So last night I was reminded once again by my 87 year old mom that you can choose hope — you can choose joy. You can choose to look at what could be a sad day and “have a ball!”

We are going to come across people this very day who never learned hope — and it wasn’t their choice. But we can hold out hope for them — because that is what we do at PHFS and that is who we are.

Maybe you yourself had a hard beginning to life and didn’t learn hope when you were younger, but here’s the good news! Hope can still be learned because you area follower of the Author of hope….

So this morning as I think about my amazing parents, and about the great work we do here, I can’t help but sing this song:

Claudia Fletcher
Chief Program Officer
Patrick Henry Family Services
860 Red Hill Road
Brookneal, VA 24528


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