Friday, May 30, 2014

Fund raiser

About a year ago, I threw out the idea of a retreat. Speaker, activities, idea, end of thought.

Fast forward a year and we are discussing a couple of sisters going through a rough time, time after time.  Suggested that they needed a break.  Just as Nana's place is an idea to provide a little R&R at grandma's House, when I need a stress reliever, I grab my sister or my daughter and run away for a weekend.  That was what we felt some of these sisters needed, except why not add some additional pampering? Why not have a mini retreat / slumber party? Why not see if we can help fund it to make it a royal treat for some deserving sisters?? Well, because our current funds support our Love Bombs.  BUT what if we held a different SH fundraiser with the intent of funding or off-setting a retreat?  And making it available to others who want to come and are willing to pay?? (I hate getting left out!) what if we used our general operation philosophy to do this fund raiser?? (What in the world is she talking about?!)

You are so very talented.  What if we pooled our talents - an item from me, an item from you, and you, and you, and set up at the craft fair with all proceeds from this going to a SH retreat for nominated recipients who need pampering and a little R&R?  Others would be welcome, we could do optional sessions and whatever else sounded like fun!  I'm working on a couple of pieces already - the craft show is in October.  Who's willing to donate one or two items for a great cause?? Who wants to be "on the road again?"🎧 with me??

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kickin' Back with Friends.

Less than 2 weeks to the big SH event that has been in the works for a year!! While officially it's our fundraiser to keep our operation functioning, it is so much more than that.  Cancer has touched every one of our lives in one way or another.  My first exposure was at the age of 7 when it robbed me of my Grandma.  Since then, I've witnessed a school parent battle and lose her fight with breast cancer, watched first my mother-in-law bravely battle and eventually be taken, then my sister-in-law lose her battle all too young. I've seen coworkers, my children's friend, babies, etc. battle.  I am in awe at the strength of every warrior I've ever met, whether they were older or just babies.  Mothers have been snatched from newborns, newborns taken from knows no boundaries, not age, wealth, education, or status.  I've also witnessed brave warriors win their battle, but the scars and the fears are still there.  Cancer is a demon, and we want to celebrate every warrior and their courage.  The fight was not in vain, we remember and spread your word.

June 7 will be this year's Cancer Walk and more.  There will be a Children's Festival with kids' games, activities, cookie decorating, and an egg hunt. (The Easter egg hunt was rained out and we have lots of eggs!). The festival will be held from 4-6 at Mahoney State Park at the Turkey Shelter.  Around 6 will be a free-will pulled pork meal, followed by our special cancer walk and memories.  

Questions we've been asked -
*Do I have to walk, I have a hurt foot?. No, walking is not required.
*Is this just for ladies?? No, everyone is welcome and invited.
*Do I have to be on a team?  No, again, everyone is welcome.

I've mentioned this before, but I heard about a young girl in her final stages of cancer telling her mom that she was ready to be rid of the pain, but she was scared that people would forget her.  If you asked me what my #1 goal for this event is, I would say, "that we don't forget." Here and beyond, we do not forget.

I personally hope to see all of you there. 

Nana's Place

Recently I found a location that needs a lot of work, but has potential.  It creates so many questions, but I'm trying to turn it over to His will. 

Nonprofit status?
Physical capabilities?
The goal is to provide a place of support, learning, friendship, and acceptance for all.  A place of comfort.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My daughter's right, I am a worrier!!

I like to pride myself on being a Do-er.  No time for whining, problem solve.  Lately I've been doing an abundance of worrying and it's not good.  Worrying cuts into sleep-time.  It cuts into fun-time. It cuts into productive time.  So, how does one banish this worry monster??

I am hoping organization and a village. Creating a thorough list and enlisting the help of anyone and everyone willing to jump on board..  Lacking a huge population, I guess it will take dedication on the few who are willing to pour their heart into it.  Purpose and meaning, purpose and meaning.  Focus.  Prayers welcome.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Walk With Us

A friend in Maine contacted me sometime ago to tell me that she and another friend were coming to Nebraska. This might not seem like a big deal, but it truly was.  You see I've never actually met this person face-to-face.  Our first contact was on Sister Hugs on Facebook.  Althea posted about it being the anniversary of her sister's death.  I have also lost my sister and her post just leaped out at me.  Althea and I started messaging back and forth.  We have found, and are still finding, that we have many things in common; and have formed a very special friendship.

So it seems fitting that since we met through Sister Hugs that it would be a Sister Hugs event that would lead us to meeting in person.  Althea and her friend Tonya bought plane tickets and made travel arrangements to attend the Sister Hugs cancer walk at Lake Mahoney on June 7th.  My husband, son, and I were very excited to share our Mahoney cabin with our new friends from Maine and looked forward to meeting them at the airport.

But as often happens, plans change.  This past week we received a message from Althea saying that she and Tonya are unable to make the trip at this time.  It wasn't unexpected. You see Althea is amazing with a huge heart.  When first I started visiting with Althea, I learned that she has two friends going through cancer.  One has esophageal cancer, which my sister had; and the other has leukemia, which my mother had.  (I did mention that we have much in common, didn't I?)  Althea has stayed by her friends sides and helps wherever and whenever.  But recently the health of her friend with leukemia has started failing.  Althea is his caregiver and has been on this journey with him from the beginning. She can not just leave the journey now to come to Nebraska.  It seems sadly ironic that it is cancer that is keeping her from being at Lake Mahoney for the cancer walk.

It may be keeping her from coming to Nebraska but it is not keeping her from the cancer walk.  Peggy and I have learned that Althea is forming another cancer walk ... in Maine ... to walk at exactly the same time that we are walking in Nebraska .... June 7th at 7pm.  Isn't that amazing? 

We LOVE it.  And it's such a beautiful idea that we want to share it with all of you.  Sister Hugs has followers across the United States as well as in at least 9 other countries.  Obviously not everyone can join us in Nebraska on June 7th for the cancer walk.  So why not use Althea's idea and have your own walk at the same time that we are walking here?   It's simple!  Just get some friends together and walk in honor of your cancer warriors!!  But send us pics so that we can share them and add them to the Sister Hugs memory book.  Remember June 7th at 7 pm.  And pics ... send those pics!  ~~ Mary

Saturday, May 17, 2014

School and life

 - I just saw a video of a kindergarten teacher in Ohio who lost her cool and physically reacted to a student.  Have you seen it yet?  My heart and stomach ache for this boy and his parents.  No, I don't know details, but I do know from the video that she treated him wrongly.  I won't get into that today, though.  Today...I will share my heart from my own world.
These adorable cherubs had their kindergarten graduation program yesterday.  Their music teacher, Annette Mitchell, did a fabulous job preparing them, and they were all simply precious.  The auditorium was packed to standing room only, filled with proud parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.  Before we blink, we will be back in this auditorium wiping away tears at our child's high school graduation.  Yes, it is our job to guide them, to mold them, to encourage curiosity and wonderment.  It is our place to accept their unique gifts, accept each child as the gift from God that they are.  Well done, kiddos!  You did great!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kick in' Back With Friends

June 7
Mahoney State Park
Children's Festival 4-6
Food 6-7
Cancer Walk/reflect/Share 7-?

A HUGE thank you to so many who have committed to this special day with us.  Many have been working and planning on this since our walk ended last year.  We reserved a shelter a year ago to ensure the location, started working on ideas and advertising, and have been spreading the word for almost 12 months now.  To us, the greatest indicator of a successful day will not be the money raised or the number of people in attendance, but the hearts that are touched by attending.  Whether we have 5 or 500 present, we want all to leave with a permanent etch on their heart from being there.  Thanks to all who are willing to help make that happen.  

Do we still need help?? Absolutely!! 
What can I do to help??
* Form a team in honor of a warrior.  Bring your team to walk
*join Sister Hugs' team
*donate food (spreadsheet will be posted Friday)
*offer to run an activity for the children's festival
*help advertise
*help make signs
*donate money for balloons! lights! etch
*share ideas for meaningful events to add
*join us at Mahoney

I think we would all agree that Sister Hugs has far exceeded its original vision.  This is due to all of you, your generosity, your kindness, your empathy, your time and commitment.  You do make a difference in this world, one smile at a time, and for that, I thank each of you for being a part of this.  It's amazing that our children are also seeing the need and filling voids.  This began as a means to compensate for a much too busy world and people who continue to hurt.  Thank you for being there.  You are always welcome to run with ideas - this group belongs to anyone who wishes to participate, in any means that you wish.