We had a wonderful day in Seattle and thanks to the generous out pouring of precious people we were able to cover the entire day. We began by eating lunch at Ivar's down on the waterfront. My wonderful husband came and brought the kids to enjoy lunch with us that day, so all the ladies got to meet Luke. I have never, ever seen Luke smile so much, it as like he just knew that he was meeting mom's that have spent many hours praying for him and following his journey for these past 6 years.
After we ate at Ivar's we headed up to Pike's Place Market, only a few of the ladies had ever been to Seattle before so everything was so exciting and new for them. One of the mom's mentioned to me that she is never able to get out and just enjoy a day of fun, so I know that the time spent in Seattle was so amazingly special for the moms.
We then caught the Monorail downtown where we went straight to Starbucks, thanks to a very generous donor I was able to bless all the ladies with a hot drink and snack. After refreshing ourselves with a drink we did a little shopping and walking around the down town area of Seattle. Some of the ladies had a blast going into a hat shop, laughing and having a great time being silly and trying on hats and glasses.
We then ended our day in Seattle at the Cheesecake Factory, it was so nice to be able to sit down and enjoy a meal that we didn't have to pay for or prepare. The food was delicious and the cheesecake was a special treat. We headed on home over the pass after dinner and got home quite late that evening, but some us just didn't want the day to end so we sat laughing and talking some more in the hot tub.
The next morning some of the ladies got up and went to church in Cle Elum. I actually slept in a little, I was going on very little sleep and a lot adrenal all week prior to the weekend and then not getting any sleep during the weekend I knew I needed to get a few hours so that I could get through our last full day together.
After church we all walked over to the Lodge, it was a brisk, windy day but we all enjoyed the walk immensely. Some of the mom's then headed over to the Suncadia Winery, while a few of us walked back to the house. The ones that went to the Winery enjoyed a nice lunch and and quiet time of enjoying the beautiful setting and scenery, while a few of us decided to walk back to the house. On the way back to the house we saw a herd of deer, we walked right by them, it was the closest that I've ever been to that many deer. We also got a bit silly and a few of the mom's decided to roll down one of the little hills on the golf course, they just barely missed rolling into deer poop, needless to say we were all laughing hysterically during our walk back. We sat down as a group right before dinner and all went around sharing with each other therapies that we have tried for our kids. It was a time of learning and hearing what has worked for some and what has not worked for other kids, it was also sobering to realize that while some of the mom's have tried so many things and others that have not tried anything that many of our children are so very different that it's hard to know for sure what will work for our child even if it's worked for another child. We then ate a delicious dinner. We played a very loud game of BUNCO, some mom's had never played this before and we all laughed and had so much fun.
After playing BUNCO we had a wonderful time of prayer. We went downstairs and invited any of the ladies that wanted to join us to come on down, we then all shared prayer requests with each other, Tiffany read some wonderful scriptures from the Bible and then we prayed, it was so powerful and exciting to see God move in our midst. While I was praying Annie had a vision that she shared with us after the prayer. She said that she saw our children all playing together, laughing and sharing their toys with each other. It was so powerful she didn't want to open her eyes because she said it was so real. I'm believing that her vision will come to pass, that one day our children will all play together and be made whole and I will even go farther to say that I believe it will happen here on earth, not just in Heaven.
Monday we got up early packed up our stuff and all the food left overs and headed back over the pass to catch flights home. Before we left we all said that we want to do this again next year, I'm already beginning to get some idea's put together in my mind about our next retreat.
I know for a matter of a fact that none of us will ever be the same, we came to realize during that wonderful weekend that even though most of us live in different states around America and even though we come from different backgrounds, we all share a common bond that most of our friends and even a lot of our families will never be able to share with us, we are all mom's that have children that have suffered beyond what any of us could of thought would be possible. We all share a journey that none of us chose to go on, but all of us are on. We came away knowing that we are special, our children are special, our families are special, but we also realize we are just like YOU, we are normal in our own special way. I was sharing with a few of my friends today about the retreat and showed them some of the pictures and one of my friends said to me, "Sue they look just like our group of friends" I think it was a HUGE revelation for her to realize that we are all just mom's, that she could of been in that picture if one of her children suffered a near drowning accident, it was as if a light went on in her head, she became sober knowing that none of us mom's chose this journey, that any MOM anywhere at anytime could be in that picture with us, we just happened to be the ones that were there.
Once again thank you so much for your kindness and support! I realize the only reason why this weekend was so successful was because of the generous givers and the prayers from those that follow along on Luke's journey. I am blessed beyond belief!!
Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue
PS To read more about the weekend you can go on over to read Julie's posting about the retreat at http://www.josephslifejourney.com/2010/11/normal.html, or
Tiffany's post at http://www.prayforabby.com/ or
Annie's post at http://mylifeasannie.com/ or
Erin's post at http://prayforaidan.blogspot.com/ or
Lindsey's post at http://www.prayforsantana.org/?p=1914 or
Sabine's post at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lovemichael/journal or
Joanna's post at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethanbarona