Thanks so much for all of you who reached out to support the reunion. Those who contributed financially as well as those who spent hours in the planning process many thanks to all of you! Thank you to the San Vicente Resort for giving us such a great weekend at the resort and the discount price. The people at the resort were so amazing really working hard to make this reunion a special time for all of us. It was the perfect place for this reunion. Thank you to SIA Organization for all your dedication and support! My hope is this is the first of many reunions to come for the Ladies of Victory Christian Academy and those who couldn’t come to this one will hopefully make the next reunion.
It has taken me some time to write about the reunion. I think because I was trying to put into words something that for me is too hard to express but I am going to try.
Planning the reunion and getting everything together was a whirlwind, there were times that I thought that it might not happen. I questioned whether anyone would come I don’t know maybe my fear of being rejected and thoughts of inadequacy coming into play. The strong propelling need to see these ladies again kept all of us moving forward. A big part of the reunion was finding these ladies and Jaimie was our “detective” spent many hours tracking ladies down and getting in contact with them. Many thanks to you Jaimie for all your hard work! There were 17 women in all who attended and it was a magical weekend.
Driving down to the San Vicente Resort was a mixture of emotions and really I think most were lost in their own thoughts as they took the journey to the resort. The questions mulling through my mind were about rejection. Will they accept me? Will they enjoy the reunion? Did we do the right thing in the planning? How will I feel going to the school and seeing that haunting place again? Was this the right thing to do? Too late we are here. ……….This is happening……..Here we go!
It is so funny how the mind works, I remember the feelings more than I remember anything. Being nervous, anxious, scared, excited, and happy all rolled into one. The feeling of peace, thinking finally it is happening after 20 years I never thought this day would come. We all had been through so much in our lives and to be able to share and express ourselves to those who understood was this amazingly beautiful experience. Some ladies came from far away while other like me had to take the road trip down to San Diego. Meshell came from Idaho, kelli came from Utah, and I think the farthest was Christa who travels the world and happened to be in town on the weekend of the reunion. Those who traveled so far to come and be a part of the reunion hadn’t experienced seeing anyone from Victory in a very long time. For them to take a leap of faith to come to San Diego was so courageous and really awe inspiring. It didn’t matter if you knew the other ladies or if they had been at Victory before or after you the strong bond that we shared was prevalent throughout the reunion.
The next morning we gathered in the conference room again and we went around the room to introduce ourselves, when we were at Victory and what we hoped to gain from the experience of this reunion. Most said they wanted healing and closer and also to rebuild friendships and to meet others who had been through the same experience. As we went around the room looking at each of these ladies I was struck by the strength empowerment that I felt. All of us together with one voice speaking out it was at this moment I knew we did the right thing all of us together it was meant to be.
SIA organization came and filmed that day and captured on video what I can’t express in words. Video of the Reunion or you can view here.
Maggie Harris owner of National City Trophy has committed graciously to a dedication plaque to go in front of the tree in remembrance. The people who now own the property were so understanding in letting us walk the property. Not many who have been in this type of facility have an opportunity of closure as we had and we thank those at Mt. Sinai Spanish church that allowed us this experience and to plant a tree on their property.
On the last day of the reunion we all gathered in the suite passing around phone numbers, emails and addresses with the promise of keeping in contact. There were awards and thanks given to those who were part of the planning of the reunion but also a tribute given to those who helped get the school in Ramona closed down. Maggie Harris owner of National City Trophy donated the beautiful awards that were given out. I was surprised with an award from Maggie and the ladies that I will cherish forever. We then went around the room and said what we got out of the weekend. Healing and strength was the consensus and the overwhelming feeling of friendship new and old friends. We have this bond that will never be broken the sense of belonging and acceptance. It was truly a weekend of respecting, remembering, reuniting.