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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Special Love’s Parent Getaway Weekend - Want to Journal, Anyone?

Weary parents facing their child’s cancer every day, along with their confused siblings, are treated to a respite once a year in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Twenty-five years ago, a group of Georgetown parents (and one from Johns Hopkins) wanted to run away from their home/hospital, just as the cancer-fighting kids/siblings got to go to camp - and all sponsored by Special Love.

SL is celebrating 40 years of helping families through the madness of childhood cancer with its robust programs and signature camps — Camp Fantastic and BRASS. Both camps "saved" our children beyond anything else. They found their support and tribe(s) that they still are in contact with today through all these years later. It's the same with the parents we met in the mid-1990s. We are still friends, confidants, and incredible supporters of each other.

The parents“sponsored” the Get-Away weekend years ago, starting with only a Saturday. Throughout the years, it morphed into a weekend with a genuine program, with many needing support. We then collaborated with Special Love to enhance our program to reach other families dealing with the same things as the founders. If the parents could come, provided they could find a loving soul or two to care for the kids at home, they would return renewed and refreshed.

Hubby Bill and I will leave later this afternoon (we live an hour away). We are all set to share a 30-minute program on Saturday about “writing” or journaling, ladened with a journal for every participant (I ordered 100 but have 200 - which is another story I will write about —stay tuned!

As Bill and I discovered, the daily writing that has graciously supported through the years is powerful beyond words. Pun intended. I love many things in life, but writing has surprisingly snuck up in the top two for me. I must write every day. That’s the gift. I hope Bill and I can share how writing/journalling has changed us for the better, and others, too, who may find comfort and solace in their own stories, whether or not they ever share.

It’s in the journey (that’s where the word journalling came from - the word “journal” comes from old French and Latin words for “day.” The word has the same root as the word “journey.” So, at its simplest, a journal records our journey through our days. That transforms into a gift.

Whether someone writes about the sunshine in their lives or the dark clouds and rain that sneak into pretty much all lives, there will be a shift in your soul. I can almost guarantee it!



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