Saturday, October 20, 2012

A long journey

Sometimes you have a chance to cross paths with amazing people.  Over the course of all of the breast cancer retreats that I have had a chance to be a part of, this statement is so incredibly true.  There are wonderful families that come, loving couples, generous donors, local community groups that support us, volunteers that give of their time, and random strangers who come across our path with a gift to give. 

We are winding up our couples retreat tonight in Buxton, North Carolina.  It has been a wonderful week full of transformational changes for many of our women- going from a place of trying to figure out how to move beyond cancer back into living.  Realizing that the days that they have should be about reaching out and being ridiculously present with the people that they love.  Cancer is a long journey that is full of twists and turns.

About a year ago, I had a twist that changed my path with Little Pink Houses of Hope.   A strong, vibrant woman named Allyson called to see about Little Pink and wanted to learn more.  We immediately hit it off when we talked and I was thrilled by her vision of hosting a retreat for couples in her home in the Outer Banks.  After meeting her and her husband, Andy and their two boys, excitement could only build in preparation for the retreat.  The home is an idealic setting for a retreat (clearly the pics posted throughout the week are evidence of that).  And the second I stepped into their home, I was invited in and felt like I had known her for years.  We stayed up half the night talking about being a mom, a wife, a cancer survivor, and people who wanted to make a big difference in the world.  Her energy invited me to think big and dream grand.   She and Andy were all in and wanted to volunteer for the retreat as well. 

But sometimes the journey changes.  And Allyson's journey did exactly that last night as she lost her battle with cancer.  All week long I have passed by an awesome picture of her which captures exactly how I wish to remember her and the feeling that has been so present in the house all week- a feeling of sheer joy and happiness.

And that is the gift that her and Andy have given to our families this week.  We talked about it at our final wrap up tonight- the idea of being ridiculously present and understanding how God has a path that he has laid out for each of us that is greater than we can ever imagine.  Thank you Allyson for imagining this retreat- you would have loved it!  It was sheer joy and happiness each moment!  You will forever be missed.
The 2012 Buxton Little Pink Couples Retreat


  1. This sure reminds me to hug the ones I love and be totally present in their lives...thanks Jeanine for making Allyson's vision happen...

  2. I did not know Allyson, and I feel sad reading this, but recognize the blessings of her gift.

    Thank you Jeanine for sharing

  3. Thank you for all you do. My sister Pat and her husband Larry were blessed by LPHoH's vision.