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Life Legacies

I received the following on a card from my grandmother and I have had it displayed next to my bed since then.  It really spoke to me.

Live Deep

Never stop learning, playing, or finding wonder in the world around you.  Live the length of your life, but live the depth of it as well.

Travel Light

There is no use in carrying around worry and regret.  They only weigh you down.  Always keep yourself open to hope and to love.  They give us wings.

Forgive Imperfections

In yourself and others.  Imperfections keep things interesting.  They're the cracks where the light shines through.

Own Beautiful Things

And not just to keep in the drawer, tucked away for a perfect day.  Surround yourself with things that make you happy, that remind you of the beauty all around us if we only keep our eyes open to it.

Make Mistakes

Follow detours. Sometimes it take an unexpected turn to help us find the life that is waiting for us around the bend.  Trust yourself and the path that is meant for you.

Take Care of Yourself

And sometimes that means you need the ice cream.  Be good to your body, but also your mind and spirit.  You're the only one who can.

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One Body, Many Parts


Charis, Amy, & Adam Patwa

Charis, Amy, & Adam Patwa

A few weeks ago we returned from the May 2012 retreat in Orlando, Florida. This was a special retreat for me because it was the first time I was able to invite a family I knew personally to come on a retreat & see them be cared for & enjoy a few days together outside of their normal routine fighting cancer. Amy & Adam Patwa, & their adorable daughter Charis, attended this retreat and blessed me & so many others with their transparency & hope in the midst of a life-threatening illness. Something really amazing happens on these retreats. Staff & volunteers love families. Families love each other. Everyone ends up serving each other in some way, shape, or form... maybe without even realizing their impact.

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Enjoy the Here-and-Now

With 16 families eagerly and nervously getting ready to head to Orlando in the next day or so, much is being anticipated and much is unknown.  This trip will changes lives, not only the lives of the families that are attending the retreat, but also the lives of volunteers and others who will encounter the families this weekend.

Make every second count

Make every second count

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Inheritance of Hope will be 5 on May 21st!

June 2011 Legacy Retreat

June 2011 Legacy Retreat Toddler Group

Inheritance of Hope will be celebrating its 5th birthday next Monday, May 21st!  I have watched the growth of Inheritance of Hope and its subsequent outreach to 99 families since its inception in 2007.  I have watched my friends, Deric and Kristen Milligan, Inheritance of Hope founders, take up the challenge to live vibrantly after a diagnosis that would send most of us staggering.

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Traditions Tell a Story

Easter egg crafting traditions

Easter egg crafting tradition

I've noticed something about myself over the past few years since I've become a mom. I view traditions in my family in many different ways than I used to, especially ones around holidays of special significance for us. It's like I view them through my kid's lens instead of my own now! When we got married we started decorating our house in little ways that signified our new family unit. We did things like decorate our mantle above the fireplace for Christmas. I bought a journal to record "firsts"... first 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. We started forming our own traditions for what would soon become our growing family! A few weeks after our first son was born Easter arrived. I must admit, Easter is my favorite celebration of the calendar year! We live in North Carolina, so we are blessed with four very distinct seasons for the most part, this year being quite an exception. I love Easter because the leaves are growing back on the trees, the flowers are in full bloom, there is more daylight emerging everyday, birds chirp, bees buzz, & most of all I get to share my Hope with my kids as I share the story of Easter! It's a JOYOUS time for us, even in the midst of the unpredictabilities life brings. I am always reminded of the simple things, small & big, this time of year. I then grow very thankful.

What is your favorite holiday?
What comes to mind for you when you think of that time each year?
What traditions do you have as a family?

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Love is Listening.

A healthy way to relieve bottled up stress...

A healthy way to relieve bottled up stress...

We are just a few days away from Valentine's Day, the holiday of LOVE. When I think of parents & kids... I think "Love is Listening". Many of you just returned home from the latest retreat in Orlando. Some of you have attended past retreats. Some are only passing through on the website & stumbled upon this post just now. Whatever category you fall into, you clicked on this most likely because you are home, back in the reality of your daily routines... & want to know how to live life fully in the midst of your circumstances & enjoy each moment. You want to know how to best love & care for your kids (and each other for that matter).

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A New Suitcase!

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.

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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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Crossing the Finish Line

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This past weekend was an incredible memory for me! I completed my first marathon with an amazing group of people.

We all ran to support Inheritance of Hope.

We ran so that families with young children who have a parent facing a life-threatening illness can experience joy in memories, comfort in community and hope in their circumstances.

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I'm a Little Tea Cup

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There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups.

Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful."

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