Before I write about our upcoming WWW Mom's Day, I feel the need to add a little "P.S." to my last post. I re-read it just now, and boy, does it sound negative, even a little morbid. It almost sounds as if I'm expecting something to happen to Bethany now that she's driving on her own. And I really don't. I think maybe I just always thought my children were invincible, and I know now that that's not true. None of us are.
And even though I used the term "scared to death", I wouldn't really describe what I'm feeling as fear. It's more of a consciousness that Bethany is moving a little farther out from under my protective wing. And that's okay...I want her to grow up and become independent, and do the things that Hannah did not have the opportunity to do. I'm just thankful that even though she's slipping out from under my wing, she will never be out of her Heavenly Father's care!!
OK. I just had to clear the air about that. I actually meant to write all of that in my post last night, but I think I was writing too late at night, and my brain just went to sleep before I was finished! Bethany's already been out driving today...a trip to Wal-Mart and Taco Bell...and will be driving herself to driver's ed this afternoon. And Mom's been doing just fine. :)
Now, on to the WWW Mom's Day. We still have room for a few more ladies to come join us on June 25th for our first-ever mini-retreat for bereaved moms. The retreat will be held at my friend Janice's home overlooking beautiful Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, and we have some of the most wonderful activities planned for the day!
We'll be starting with a light breakfast/coffee time at 9:30 a.m. We'll spend the morning time honoring our children by sharing their stories with each other, and if time allows, we may take a little cruise around Lake Hamilton on a pontoon boat. Around noon or a little after, we'll have a "high tea", with all kinds of yummy treats. In the afternoon, we'll discuss specific issues that we face as bereaved, but believing moms, and a massage therapist will be coming by to give each lady a 20-minute private massage. The highlight of the day will be our dinner. A chef will be coming to prepare a 5-course gourmet meal for us! We will have an appetizer, a salad, an intermezzo (to cleanse our palates...I didn't know what that was either!), a delicious entree, and a decadent dessert. We met with him a few nights ago to discuss the menu, and I honestly felt like I was on a Food Network show as he described each course in detail. He will also give us some lessons about proper etiquette...such as which fork to use when...something I desperately need! He's a very friendly, personable guy, and I think dinner is going to be a lot of fun. We should be wrapping up for the day around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m.
Our goal is to provide these ladies who have lost so much with an enjoyable, relaxing, uplifting day, and to allow all of us to build lasting relationships with other moms who really understand us. I believe our shared experiences and our common faith will bind us together in a very special way.
So, if you or someone you know has lost a child, and you think they would enjoy coming to something like this, send them to our While We're Waiting Weekend website to register, or just have them send me an email and I'll get them signed up. We are asking each lady who comes to bring $10 to help offset some of the day's expenses. We'd like to have all our ladies registered by June 10th. We have a personalized gift for each lady that we'd like to give them when they leave that day, and it will take at least two weeks to prepare it. You can still register after June 10th, but we may have to mail your gift to you after our day together.
And we're not forgetting about the dads! We are working on a weekend retreat just for dads July 29-31. It will be held in Briggsville, Arkansas, which is in Yell County, not too far from Russellville. The Sullivan family owns a house and several hundred acres there, and the dads will be treated to a weekend full of 4-wheeler riding, fishing, canoeing, and other guy stuff. As we work out the details for that, I will get the While We're Waiting Weekend website updated with that information. If you want to go ahead and get your spot reserved, though, you can go ahead and email me and we'll get you registered.
We'll also be holding our next couples retreat November 4-6. We've already got some couples signed up for that one, so if you'd like to join us, you can go ahead and register for that as well.
I don't know if you can feel my excitement about these events through your computer or iPhone, but believe me, it's there! We really believe God is going to use these events to start and/or continue the healing process for all who participate in them. The loss of a child is the most devastating loss one can endure, but it is possible to survive and even thrive after this loss...if we're willing to allow God to heal us and use us for His glory while we're waiting to be reunited with our child someday. And that's what "While We're Waiting Weekends" are all about!