John and I were married March 12th, 2009. Less than five years later, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, something we certainly hadn’t planned for or wanted at the time. However, because of ALS, we were introduced to Inheritance of Hope and received the great gift of a Legacy Retreat. Less than two years after our retreat, though, on March 26th of 2016, John passed away.
Since his death, I have loved serving other IoH families, and at the May 2017 Legacy Retreat, I met Tom, another volunteer. He came on the first retreat in 2008 with his family, and his wife Shannon passed away shortly after. He, too, understood terminal illness, the loss of a spouse, and single parenting grieving children. He, too, had experienced a failed marriage as a result of not following Christ. He, too, had two boys with complicated pasts, and the older with behavioral struggles. And, he also lived in the Carolinas, but he lived in the wrong one. Though only a little over an hour away, he lived near the lakes of upstate South Carolina, whereas my home was in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. To say this difference was a concern would be a great understatement.