Hope HitchingsMarch 29, 1968 ~ November 20, 2018 (age 50)
Only Fifty Years ago, on March 29, 1968, the world was blessed with the birth of Hope Hitchings. On November 20, 2018, she went home to be with the Lord.
She was a Daughter to David and Faith Hitchings; a Granddaughter to the late Leonard and Ruby Justice and Edward and Ruth Hitchings; a Sister to Andrew, Joy and Holly and a cousin to many. And then she became a Mother. First Paul in 1988 and then to Sara in 1990; She was a Significant Other and Loving Partner to Ben Volante; an Aunt, a Friend and an Advocate for all TBI patients.
She grew up on the family farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland and attended school at Mt. Airy Full Gospel Christian School, graduating in 1986. She enjoyed all things outdoors and loved the animals. Finally, after many years, she and Ben moved to their own farm and it was christened with the name "Soaring Hills Homestead". First a few chickens and ducks and then pigs, goats and horses. Not only were the barns full of "All Creatures Great and Small", the house was full of domestic animals too.
If one was to ask her, she probably would say she loved the goats the best. She helped many give birth and fed the babies with a baby bottle. No matter the weather, she was out with Ben and Sara tending to all, feeding the chickens to baling hay. There were no tasks she did not tackle.
Besides the animals she enjoyed sewing and crafting. It was always her dream to have a room, all her own, to be able to keep all of her supplies and go there to "create". Even without a room of her own, she made quilts and gave some as gifts to her family.
Hope became a single Mom early on and worked to support her kids. She was very independent and rarely asked for any help. Determined to raise her children to be polite, caring individuals, she also instilled a strong faith in God. She enjoyed going to Church, but in the years after Paul's accident, it wasn't always possible. But, Christian music was played in the home and she prayed unceasingly and enjoyed watching videos of Preachers. Some of her favorites were Paula White and Joyce Meyer. Christ was the head of the household and it was evident in her actions that God had a plan and was always in charge, even when things got tough, she never questioned His will. She set a wonderful example for many who knew her.
Most of you know about Paul's horrific accident. He was severely injured and was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Being in Nursing Homes in far away places did not keep her from seeing him and watching over his care. Being, as she said, "tossed out by security" on one occasion was humorous, but no one or thing was going to keep her from being the best advocate for Paul.
After working tirelessly to manipulate the system, she was finally able to bring Paul home where she knew he would get the best possible care. Living so far out, it was nearly impossible to have Home Health Care workers come and help her out. Sara and Ben could do everything he needed in Hope's absence, but she was always worried about him. Many trips back and forth to the hospital were exhausting, but she never complained.
In the midst of taking care of Paul and her family, she studied well into the night and was awarded her Bachelor's Degree from Kaplan University in 2012. All the while, in between she was being an advocate, not just for Paul, but for all the WV TBI patients as she fought the legislature to make changes to improve the lives of many.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, November 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Stauffer Funeral Home, 8 East Ridgeville, Mt. Airy, MD. Family and friends are encouraged to bring a perennial bulb to give the family in remembrance of Hope - a Memorial Garden will be planted at Soaring Hills Homestead, her farm in Hedgesville.
A celebration of Hope's life journey will take place on Wednesday, November 28 at 11:00 am in the chapel of the funeral home; Pastor Gloria Murray will officiate. Interment will be at Poplar Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery, Mt. Airy.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are strongly suggested by the family to Paul's Trust Fund, C/O Staggers & Staggers, 133 E. John Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401 or to A.S.P.C.A, PO Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090.