Facing yet another Friday night “in?” Squares on your calendar a little too blank? Kids whining “I’m bored” over and over? Inheritance of Hope can help!
First published in February 2011, we repost Kristen's words in honor of all the volunteers who have blessed Inheritance of Hope families through the years. You have been the hands and feet of Jesus as you serve wholeheartedly with love.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Last month, I was honored to participate in the most recent Legacy Retreat held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Because my body was not strong enough to participate as fully as in the past, I found myself doing a lot more sitting quietly and observing what was going on around me, and something struck me as incredibly beautiful. If you have never been a part of a Legacy Retreat, it is difficult to explain, so I will try to paint you a picture …
In 2017, Amy and Andrew Thomas attended an in-person Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® with their three-year-old son, River. Amy was first diagnosed with breast cancer when River was just one, and then re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer two and a half years later. Until their retreat, Amy did not know any other young mothers with a terminal diagnosis, and Andrew had not met other male caregivers with children still at home.
|The Thomas Family found Hope in NYC|
How many rubber band bracelets does it take to send one child on an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat®?
|Nine-year-old Hayden Cochran raised $1300 for IoH families|
How can we continue to support a family after their loved one has passed away? At Inheritance of Hope, our goal is to purposefully be with those left behind, to walk alongside those who grieve. We know we could never fill the emptiness that remains, but we also know this space still beautifully holds memories and much, much more. We acknowledge the loss just as we celebrate life and love.
Our son died many years ago, long before the isolation of the pandemic. My family and I were embraced with support in every way. Embraced with hugs, handshakes--the kind where they shake with their right hand and their left hand squeezes your arm, and all those face-to-face conversations over coffee or lingering lunches where friends shared their empathy with warmth and concern. They asked how we were doing and wanted to know.
By December 21, 2020, you would have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about “The Christmas Star.” Well, I sort of had. Been living under a rock, that is. The rock of living in ICU for a few days.
The convergence of Jupiter and Saturn was on my radar, so to speak, but by the time the day arrived, I had almost forgotten. Then, a friend asked if I was going to look for “The Christmas Star.” Yes, I thought. Yes. I will see it.
My teenagers were both home, a lucky by-product of a near-death experience and the pandemic. We could go see it as a family. We planned to leave the house around 6:45 p.m. and drive to my husband’s office parking deck--the office he had only visited maybe a dozen times since March, mostly to check his mail.
Living in Colorado this summer and fall was an experience unlike any I had ever had. In fact, it was a summer and fall unlike any that had happened in Colorado history. In five months, from June to October, Colorado experienced its three biggest forest fires in state history. The fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres. In Northern Colorado, the effects of the fire were suffocating (almost literally). Ash fell like snow, gathering as a thick coating of dust over all outside surfaces, the sky turned orange as smoke transitioned the sun's light into an eerie smog that made the Fort Collins landscape look more like a scene from The Martian. The fires were so big and so close that flames could be seen dancing on top of the foothills just outside of town.