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Content at Christmas - January 2017

“What if this is our last Christmas together?”  If someone in your family has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this stomach-dropping, breath-stealing question has likely crossed your mind.  I remember the first time it struck me.

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Thankful for Legacies: Troy Steiner, Board of Directors

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Troy Steiner has served on the Inheritance of Hope Board of Directors since 2010. He is Vice President of Operations at Graphics Service Bureau in New York City. 
 
What has always amazed me is that my mom, who died 41 years ago, is still remembered and spoken of frequently by so many people because of the everlasting imprint she left in their lives. 
 
To speak or write of her is challenging for me because I did not know her. I was 6 months old when she was tragically removed from our lives. While horseback riding with a friend on a neighboring property, which was a hobby of hers, something spooked her horse. The horse threw her, and my mother hit her head on a rock. She was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours later. It all seemed so quick and pointless to me that a life so precious as hers could be taken away instantly. My father was now a widower, and my siblings and I were now motherless, just like that. 
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Thankful for Legacies: Jacey Lawler, Volunteer

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Jacey Lawler has volunteered at 17 Legacy Retreats®She is a favorite of the kids, parents, other volunteers, and staff -- everyone! 
 
In May 2013, I officially became “grandparent-less” with the passing of my last grandparent. They were all gone. This fact really hit me hard, and I knew life would be different. Instead of their physical presence, I was left with their memory. Happily, because of my many experiences volunteering with Inheritance of Hope, I knew the power and importance of legacies. 
 
My grandparents played an important role in my life, and I loved them dearly. Both my PopPop and Nana (my dad’s parents) passed away early in my high school years from cancer. My Grandma and Grandpa (my mom’s parents) passed away from illnesses last year, my senior year of college. All of my grandparents came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior at varying points in their lives. For this I am beyond thankful, because it truly shaped the aspects of their legacies that I most value.
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Thankful for Legacies: Larisa Gjivoje, Team Inheritance of Hope

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Larisa Gjivoje ran the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon with Team Inheritance of Hope. She raised $8,301 -- more than enough to send an entire family to a Legacy Retreat®
 
The Legacy of Love: My parents created a loving home environment. We told each other "I love you" when leaving for the day, ending our phone calls, going to bed, and many other times. My husband and I do the same in our family with two young children. Expressing love for each other is powerful and everlasting.
 
The Legacy of Family Togetherness: My family usually ate dinner together, which was a tough feat. Because both of my parents worked, it was late sometimes. But the trade-off was priceless; it was an important tradition to share each other's day and be connected. My mom even insisted on candlelight during our meals. My husband and I follow this legacy with our children –- and even use candles!
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Thankful for Legacies: Lanham Family

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Larry Lanham attended our February 2012 Legacy Retreat® with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters. Michelle died on June 2, 2013.
 
Legacies -- we all have one, and we will all leave one. I want to tell you about Michelle's legacy.
 
I have to tell you about Michelle's closet. You see, Michelle was a planner and an organizer. Michelle's closet is in the entryway of our house, and it is neatly stacked from floor to ceiling with labeled boxes of clothing. Michelle knew the sizes of dozens of kids; she was constantly on the lookout for good used clothes, and she would store them according to size and season. It was her thing, and she loved sharing with friends and family. As the girls outgrew something, or if she needed to make room, she would find someone to bless with the clothes. But the primary purpose was so that she would always have clothes for Mattie and Maggie. 
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Seek Him

Saturday morning my family and I awoke feeling very cold . . . our furnace was out, brrr!   We checked into having it repaired and realized it would be better to replace it entirely.  But the earliest day they could install our new furnace was 6 days out, so that meant we would need to rely on our fireplace to heat our home.

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Thankful

thankfulThe calendar still says November, but most everyone’s attention has turned to Christmas.  I love Christmas!  Time together with family, sweet treats, beautiful lights, lovely music, and gift giving to honor the greatest Gift ever given . . . Jesus Christ.

But I find myself not quite ready to let go of Thanksgiving yet . . . there are so very many reasons to be thankful, the season deserves to linger.  Even in the midst of really difficult times . . . whether it be health related, financial, relational or something else entirely . . . there is always something for which we can be grateful.

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Christmas Joy

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I recently received an email that linked to an article called "50 Economic Numbers That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe".  The article was a slide show with captions covering how badly (even worse than we think) the economy is performing ranging from unemployment to debt to homelessness to foreclosures.  The article made me think about the cares of this world stealing our joy...

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A Thankful Heart

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I've been a member of the 2011 NYC Legacy Retreat Fans Group these past few days.  This group was set up in the IOH Community on the Inheritance of Hope website to follow the 'latest' as the Legacy Retreat unfolded.  Sixteen families from across the nation gathered in NYC to create family memories and build a community of support as they all had in common a parent diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  As I watched the Retreat unfold since this past Sunday, I have had an overwhelming sense of thanksgiving...

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Thank You Veterans

The Marine Corps Marathon finishes with an incline for the last .2 miles of the 26.2 mile race, ending at the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington.  The memorial depicts the 5 Marines and 1 U.S. Navy corpsman that raised the American flag using a pipe found in wreckage at the summit of Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945.  The battle at Iwo Jima lasted 36 days with many casualities - 21,800 Japanese and 6,800 American lives were lost.  Many, many more American soldiers were injured.

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