Hope and her dad, Skip, lovingly sing and play guitars together. They carry on without Hope’s mom. Hope assumes the housekeeping and cooking chores when she is 10. Beginning at 16 she works summers as a nurse’s aide at her community hospital. She remains a quiet and serious student, outstanding in calculus. Hope makes a decision her senior year to study nursing in order to obtain a nurse practitioner (NP) designation.
She and Shane date during the summer, drink lots of booze and explore their sexual relationship. Hope becomes pregnant. Shane accepts his responsibility and asks Hope to marry him. Hope divorces him after she miscarries their baby. She moves forward through pre-nursing and nursing school. She joins Alcoholics Anonymous at the insistence of a friend. Now sober, she completes her NP and moves to San Francisco in 1978. Hope’s mother, Faith, finds her at the hospital where Faith volunteers and Hope works.
Hope falls in love with Mark, a fellow alcoholic, and an RN. She runs a nonprofit medical clinic in downtown San Francisco. With her NP training she writes prescriptions, performs minor surgeries, and advocates for her patients’ rights. Hope continues to see more and more young men dying of an unexplained auto immune deficiency. A challenging opportunity comes for her to take over the nonprofit clinic of a dying doctor in north Georgia.
She brings changes to the clinic to improve patient services. Hope saves Joel’s leg. He asks her out after his leg heals. They explore their pasts. He is a widowed Green Beret. Their love for each other grows. Joel’s viniculture project expands, and many more patients visit Hope’s clinic. They marry. Jared is born to this happy family. Hope finds serenity, embracing the preciousness of life.