Reincarnated As A Mother

Sunday, June 11, 2017

J.O.Y.

This may come across more than a little crazy... but
cancer can be oh, so beautiful.
Case in point.
We got home tonight from a little slice of heaven.
We spent the past four days with seventeen other cancer families
at Camp Rainbow Gold's Family Retreat on Lake Perkins.
I can't begin to tell you how much we love this place, these
people or this experience.
(Byron took this picture first thing this morning-- eat your heart out Ansel Adams).

My pictures and words are so inadequate.
From the minute we arrive at camp, it is a joy to watch 
my children join with others to play, laugh and cut loose.
Even Kean.
He gets in the middle of things and does "his thing".
 The first night is dinner, music...
 and carnival.
 I'm talking a full-on carnival with more activities than are in 
this picture, lots of dancing and way too much cotton candy and other treats.
 Nirvana for kids
and once again, joy for moms to watch such smiles.
 Our days were pretty packed-- with archery...
 and watching our mountain goats climb the wall.
This is Reese but Holland set a speed record--
she got to the top in 27 seconds.
 We went Geo-Catching with other families...
 Had lots of down time to laugh (and sing...remember we had Greer with us).
 One of our favorite activities was solving the mysteries
in an "Escape Room".
 Every night was filled with music-- talent shows, silly jokes...
 and crazy karaoke.
 On Saturday, the beautiful weather fled and was replaced by snow.
Snow in June!
That didn't stop the fun...
we moved inside for crafts, games and general silliness.
 Superman - above, Jason Hosick is one of our favorites.
He wears a new wig about every hour (or at least every few hours).
I don't know of any child who does not love Jason, including Kean.
 Before every meal, we all gather and make a huge circle,
hold hands to sing a silly, little song about what we are thankful
for.  For some reason, Kean won't stand with his family or in the 
circle but has his special spot in the middle of things.
He goes to the same exact spot before every meal!
 After every meal, it is Shine Time.
A hat, the crazier, the better, is passed around with the microphone
where whoever wants to-- shows their gratitude by
"shining" for someone or something.
I think Reese shined every meal.
Oh, how we love these crazy folks who do so much for our families.
This is Camp Director, Steve England-- who happens to be a Lieutenant in the
Haley Police Department.  Wouldn't you love to have him pull you over?
 Our final night at camp, Holland and Greer sang a duet as part
of the talent show...
 There's nothing better than watching your kids thrive 
and enjoy every minute while being together as a family.
 The night ends with the Pine Cone ceremony where every family
(some who have lost children and the rest of us, who have had
children forever scarred by cancer) tie written "wishes" on 
pine cones, throw them into the fire and send them to heaven.
It is the most somber moment of camp-- highly emotional and
incredibly touching.
 We woke up this morning to glorious weather.
Of course, it was the day we said our goodbyes.
We did get in a family hike before breakfast.
We came home tired, dirty, loaded up with laundry and
even better, loaded up with memories we'll never forget
and experiences that will recharge us and keep us going.
We love everything about Camp Rainbow Gold-- especially the love.

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