Monday, May 30, 2005

Art of Healing Retreat

I spent a 3 day weekend last weekend in Madison, CT, attending Bernie Siegel's most recent retreat. We spent time talking, connecting to ourselves, to each other, doing drawings, yoga, making music, getting massages, reiki treatments, reflexology treatments, crying and laughing.

There were several cancer Thrivers there, as well as several therapists who were there to learn more about Bernie's message and methods for use in their respective practices. There were people from Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Connecticut, North Dakota...... think that's all.

Some of us are cancer survivors, one woman there as a trainee had lost her son to a swimming accident, one of the cancer survivors had lost a daughter to a drive-by-shooting! One man, an airline pilot, was there with a tremendous story of his survival over great odds, and going strong. Another woman was there in what turned out to be her final days. She died two days after the retreat ended. She was 56, had ovarian cancer, and was very, very ill. Her participation was likely for her own emotional comfort, to confess her "sins", and make peace with life. She felt that she had made mistakes in being too critical to others, not offering a hand to help when she could have, and for hurting those she loved. I feel she made peace by talking about her mistakes, but she also helped others by her warning. Love those we are supposed to love. Help others, be kind, and open your heart.

I flew by Angelflight, which is an organization of volunteer private pilots who fly cancer patients to treatment when they can't afford to pay the airfare. I met 4 wonderful pilots, had an adventure, learned a lot about flying, had good conversations, and saw the Good Year blimp. My return trip was my own personal experience with planes, trains, and automobiles,, since I had to take a taxi from Madison, CT to New Haven, CT, then took the commuter train to Stamford, CT, where the pilot picked me up at the train station, drove me to the airport, where we flew to Allentown, PA for fuel, then to State College, PA to meet the pilot for my second leg, who flew me from PA to Lansing, MI. I left at 7am and got home at 6pm, an exhausting, but interesting day.

Today, Memorial Day, I am going to relax, sit in the sun, play with my dogs, and read. I may take in a movie later, and then I have my online support group tonight at 9.

I am thinking today of lost family members. I love you Mother, Daddy, and dear sister Judy. XXXXOOOO

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