February 3rd started with that amazing breakfast. Sam, Jesse, and Max were taken to their sessions. Gabriel, Sol, and I were sent to a large room for the final meeting.
You know it might be a hard meeting when you see tissue boxes every 3rd chair.
I am trying to remember this from memory, so it might be out of order. Jill, a volunteer and a coordinator, spoke to us about the legacy of Inheritance of Hope. How the effects continue afterwards. I know that I will forever be thankful to my volunteers. Rob, Anna, and Emily will always be important to me and my family. Gabriel and Solomon plan to be volunteers at future Retreats. I couldn’t be more proud. This is how the legacy continues; families are served then choose to serve other families. I think it is a beautiful way to pay it forward.
Deric Milligan took the stand after Jill. The 14+ kids were sent to their own groups. This was where the tissues really came into play. He spoke of the creation of Inheritance of Hope. He spoke of the families it has affected, including his own. His wife, Kristen, passed away in 2012. Three months before her passing, she had created a video message for all of the people being served by IoH. She was not able to make it to the Retreat that was happening at that time and her video was meant for those folks, with words of encouragement. I believe it is now shown at all Retreats. If you wish to see it, it can be found here.
The final meeting was hard and beautiful.
Our volunteers gave us a gift of a photo book and a very large stack of pictures. It was such an unexpected thing and I couldn’t hold back more tears.
We were supposed to go to SeaWorld, but made the decision to go back to Universal. Our tickets and Goldpass were good for a second day. Why not?
With the rough morning, Gabriel bought the whole family lots of candy at the first candy store we came to. We had jellybeans for weeks. We went on rides we hadn’t made it to the day before, as well as a few rides we had ridden, and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Mardi Gras was happening at Universal. We managed to see a little bit of the parade as we were leaving. People were dressed in amazing costumes all day.
We were too tired to try to find a place to eat, so we just made PB& J sandwiches for the little guys and PB & banana sandwiches for Gabriel, Sol, and myself. It was a good ending to our day.