SOBCon2010 – Getting to know Hope

My friend and founder of SOBCon , Liz Strauss created a contest for her upcoming conference. She asked people to blog about someone that made a difference in their life.  It got me thinking and wanting to share my story with you all.

The one person who stands out for making a difference in my life is my step-dad, Ed. All of you, know him as my dad since my real dad, who I also call (the bad dad) and I haven’t talked in over 25 years.  This is my choice.

Ed took me under his wing for absolutely no reason other than he was dating (at the time) my mom and has treated me as one of his own since the day he met me.  He provided for me financially, helped me with my homework, gave me a beautiful and safe home environment and always built me up, which is something my real dad was never able to do.

My real dad was supposed to pay for my undergrad and didn’t because as he said, “Ed (my step-dad) should have to pay for your school as punishment for taking you away from me.” These were pretty cutting words for a 17 year old. That comment made me feel very alone in the world and also frustrated that my dad wasn’t doing what he was supposed to — or the right thing for that matter!

When I told this to Ed, his response was, “It’s my privilege to pay for your school because I get to play a part in helping you become the success I know you are going to be.”  Not only did he pay for school, he sent me to Europe for two summers.  Ed always acts with the utmost integrity. No matter what the situation.

This all came with a lot of responsibility – I wasn’t just given my education on a silver platter. I CONSTANTLY heard that I had to work hard and succeed and that they didn’t want to feel like their money was going to waste.  I was given just enough help to get by and know I was loved and taken care of.  I also always knew that he believed in me.

He’s always been a huge stand for me and is the one person that I trust implicitly in this crazy world we live in.  Most recently, he’s been a huge help with supporting my efforts in getting Windy City Social off the ground.

More than anything else, he’s shown me how to be a good, loving, caring person who contributes to the world more than I take and to do the right thing no matter what the other person is doing.

He’s also set a pretty high bar for you guys out there. He’s a true gentleman with my mom and everyone he comes in contact with.  I’ll be lucky to find a man ½ as good as he is.


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  1. Only Hours Left!! Look Who’s Entered to Win a FREE SOBCon Trip — OR Get a $250 Discount | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - February 14, 2010

    […] Hope Bertram @windycitysocial wrote SOBCon2010 – Getting to know Hope […]