Team IOH participated in the Disney Marathon Weekend last weekend in Orlando, FL. Runners participated in the marathon, half-marathon, Goofy's challenge and the 5K. Today, Kasandra Spears will tell us of her family's experience in participating in the Family Fiesta 5K - which took place Friday morning. The Spears' participated in the 2010 NYC Legacy Retreat, and as you will read, wanted the opportunity to 'give back' to IOH.
I have a great job.
I get to meet beautiful families that are faced with some difficulties and plan a dream vacation for them.
The absolute BEST part of my job is the phone call when I tell them it is their turn to go on this dream vacation.
Many people cry. They all echo words of gratitude and emotion. Many are overwhelmed and even slightly speechless.
As we were driving to my son's preschool graduation, my sweet 5 year old was explaining that he and each of his classmates were going up on stage and they were going to have to say in the microphone what they want to be when they grow up.
"What are you going to say?" I asked him.
"A drum player..... I would really like to change my answer but I can't because it is too late."
"It's already printed on my diploma."
This time of year most of us are very blessed to spend a lot of time with our families. Sometimes this is the only time of year we get to see some of them. It is always one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love hanging out with my parents and siblings and in-laws.
One thing I have learned in my experience and conversations with others is no family is perfect. I would venture to guess that behind every Norman Rockwell painted smile there are a few snickers, giggles, questionable glares and possibly even tears. Likely on the bottom of the perfectly-browned, perfectly-seasoned, perfectly-shiny, perfectly-PAINTED turkey there is a real turkey that is a little too dry and maybe slightly burned, that came out of an oven that is perfectly covered in the caked on messy juices from a day of cooking. The oven you look at and think "I really need to clean that sometime."
I think it is easy to look at other people's life, or Christmas card photo, and think, "Wow, they have the perfect family. They have no idea what goes on in my house at Christmas. I'm so glad she won't be looking in my oven."
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...
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...
Tonight everyone enjoyed a night out! Even the rain couldn't damper our delight to head out on the town.
All of the parents were given gift cards to eat at a fancy New York City restaurant. They were thrilled to have a nice evening just as adults, but not as thrilled as their children were to have Kids Night Out!