Most of my days are spent planning, coordinating and thinking about the upcoming Legacy Retreat in New York City. I am very excited to meet these 9 families and I am excited for them to meet each other. I was privileged to meet one of the families (pictured above) attending this Retreat a couple of years ago. I didn't know our paths would cross again but clearly that was the plan! Check out my friend Nikki Farley's recent post on her husband's caringbridge site regarding the timing of this Legacy Retreat for their family.
I wasn't planning on updating until after Beau's MRI, but I'm so excited to share how God is working in our lives every minute of every day from the smallest to the largest detail. Most of you who are reading this probably read my update from Sunday evening. (During this entry she shared about her fears regarding Beau's prognosis and she had made a commitment to plan a special family trip to make memories.) I decided this past Tuesday evening to get online and start planning that special trip that I wanted to take with Beau. I got very frustrated while researching. Why? I checked out cruises. I got stressed trying to pick out a cruise because there are so many to choose from. Trying to coordinate airline tickets with the cruising dates stressed me out even more. We don't have passports, so we would have to mess with getting those. So, I thought, "How about somewhere a little bit easier?" I was planning on traveling in November, the week of Thanksgiving because my mom was off work and could watch the kids. New York City came to mind because I've always, always wanted to go there during the holidays. I researched that for a bit, but didn't even really know where to start with that. I, then, started feeling guilty about not taking the kids. I started feeling guilty about spending the money since we have medical bills coming in and we don't know what's going to happen in the future. And, truly, I just didn't want the stress of planning a trip. So, on Tuesday evening, I slammed the computer shut and said a prayer. I asked the Lord to take it from me and show me what He wanted me to do.
Fast forward, to Thursday morning. I got a message on Facebook from Jill Thompson. Many of you who have been following our story over the past year and a half may remember her. Jill was our angel who lived in Rochester, MN and helped us out so much while we were there getting treatment for Beau for 7 weeks. A family from our church in Huntington knew her and contacted her in Rochester on our behalf. She helped us out with the kids, arranged for home cooked meals to be delivered to us, got us a membership to the Rochester Athletic Club for the kids, etc.
Jill no longer lives in MN, but has recently moved to GA. She contacted me because she now works for a non-profit organization called Inheritance of Hope www.inheritanceofhope.org. They provide all expenses paid vacations to families with a parent battling a life-threatening illness. She told me she has taken a position planning and organizing Legacy Retreats and they had two amazing ones coming up. Guess where??? Yes, New York City..........Guess when?? Yes, the week of Thanksgiving, Saturday, November 20 to Tuesday, November 23. She directed me to their website, so of course, I went to check it out. They plan every single little detail!!! They pay for every expense from airfare to hotel stay!!!!! The hotel is in the heart of Times Square, something we could never afford!!! We can bring the kids................and they provide babysitting so we can have a special date night!!!! Seven other families will be there!! We will get to meet other parents and children who are battling the same battles we are!!! They have special sessions where our kids can talk with other kids and a counselor!!! And, Jill will be there!! I never thought we would spend time with her again!!! DO YOU SEE HOW GOD IS WORKING??? HE TOOK EVERY ONE OF MY WORRIES AWAY FROM ME!!
So, I was driving home from work today and had a very long drive and alot of time to think. I kept dreaming of going to the Thanksgiving day Parade............been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. We watch it with the kids every Thanksgiving morning. But, the retreat ended on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We were so close to the date. I prayed again. "God, you can make it happen, I can't." Jill had told me to call her when I got a chance so she could give me some more details. I called her today. The first thing she told me was everything was paid for. The only thing we needed to pay for is things if we go shopping. And............She said, "We are very flexible with the air travel. A few families are making their own hotel accomodations after Tuesday and staying through the Thanksgivings Day Parade, and flying back home after the parade." THANK YOU GOD!!!
One more thing, I was worried about not having enough vacation time with work to take off at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Found out on Wednesday, I have 4 more days than I thought!!
This is just truly amazing to us. Every little detail is taken care of. We are so very, very thankful.
Please check out this website if you are ever looking for a charitable organization to donate, too. It could be a true blessing to families just like us. www.inheritanceofhope.org