Providing spa retreats for women with cancer and their girlfriends
Refresh, restore, rejuvenate!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
- Psalm 106:1
I just wanted to say thank you to all of you. I was a little scared about going this weekend because I have always tried to put my cancer out of my mind. I didn't want to ever think about it, maybe because I am a little scared. I need to tell you all that this weekend reminded me about the other side of cancer which is the love, kindness and support that also goes along with the C word. Maybe that's why God allows such a thing as Cancer to make sure that there is still love in the world and if I ever wondered this weekend proved to me that there are beautiful caring, selfless people with and abundance of Love to give and it made me want to give of myself too. It reminded me of what is important in life, each other. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed each and everyone of you. I have never said this before out loud because of my crazy denial but "I AM PROUD TO BE A CANCER SURVIVOR", Love, good health and happiness always. - Dawn
Wow... I'm not even sure where to start. Most of you have probably never heard of an organization called Confetti Celebrations. I heard about it from a friend at church, Lisa Tice. My good friend Mary Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer last November at the age of 31. I worked with her for 8 years and found her to be one of the most Godly, trustworthy friends anyone could have. So when I heard of this organization that honors women cancer patients with a spa weekend (along with a friend), she was the first person that came to mind. I went on their website and nominated Mary Margaret. We got a call this summer that we had been invited to the September retreat. We had no idea what we were in for.
First of all we stayed at the most beautiful lake house in the North GA mountains... so cozy and spacious. Each honored guest and her friend had a bedroom and bathroom. When we got there we were greeted so warmly and taken to our rooms that had personalized gifts on our beds; robes, key chains, bracelets... just sweet gifts that all women love. And it was just more of the same all weekend... chocolates on our pillows every night along with Bible verses and more gifts... coffee mugs, Vic Secret perfume, skin and hair products, a throw, I could go on and on. But what I found most amazing was how these women who volunteered their time served us so lovingly and freely. I mean they would not let us lift a finger to clear our plates even! We were shooed out of the kitchen -- these women cooked every meal for us along with snacks all day and late night cookies and hot chocolate. They waited on us hand and foot. You know how we women are -- we are always the ones taking care of everyone else so what a treat!
And I have not even gotten to what we did all day Saturday. We started the day with yoga then facials, pedicures and massages. We stayed in our spa robes all day while sitting on the beautiful wrap around porch listening to the rain enjoying the gorgeous view of Lake Rabun. There's more to tell -- I think I could go on and on but I want to get to the most important part.
I feel privileged to have gotten to know these amazing women who are fighting cancer. To hear their stories, learn about their families, and find out where their strength comes from. They were REAL with us -- authentic in their struggles and fears and I have never admired a group of women so much. I shared with a friend today that I could not help but feel guilt that I was not going home to face the day to day reality of this disease like many of them were. And she so wisely reminded me that "guilt is not of God" (thank you Melanie). So I am choosing to take from this experience that there truly are people in this life that give and serve completely out of their love for God. I also learned that those with cancer go through so much more than they even tell us about. They are stronger than they even know. And I'm sure they don't always feel strong but you know what? They are getting up every morning, taking care of their families, learning to accept help when they need it, and using their stories to encourage others around them. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this weekend... my life will be richer because of it.
**If anyone wants to find out more about this organization, Google Confetti Celebrations. Read Leslie's story on how the idea was founded. It is awesome and so is she.
What we'll remember...
Barbara shoo-ing us out of the kitchen
Leslie, a woman with an angel's mission
Amber must moonlight as paparazzi
Maria worked for hours to make us look lovely
Nicole, a Confetti Idol of our own
Our gracious hostess Jill, who gave us her home
My own stash of Milky Ways and nightly gifts in my room
Playing Susie's charades by the light of Dawn's moon
Wendy can make anything seem funny
Michelle and Leslie, both so sunny
Mary Margaret, sustained by her faith
Candles tucked in every place
Jennifer came a long way from 'Bama
Wendy has promised to burn Dawn's pajamas
(Watch out - there's Amber again with the camera!)
The beautiful deck with views of mist on the lake
Cream puffs and chocolates and strawberry shortcake
Doing the catwalk, complete with boa, is Trish
Not having to cook - the food was delish!
Girlie pictionary (R-rated a bit)
The never ending snacking was certainly a hit
Stories and laughter undampened by rain
Pirates and pictures (some still in frames)
Running around in our robes (they were ours to take)
Worries vanish in confetti and fall to the lake
But most importantly, women with courage to spare
Unwilling to bend under cancer's glare
With hearts full of fire and smiles on their faces
I'm so glad we could meet, here of all places
Please forgive this really bad rhyme
But it was a pleasure to meet you -- the honor was mine.