This weekend I am honored to be a presenter at a retreat for breast cancer survivors. I think this is the 4th time that I’ve been a part of this particular event and it makes me happy to see many of the same faces returning each year – it truly is a sisterhood and a support network.
Tonight I saw an outpouring of love that was incredibly touching – if I had any idea what the cockles of my heart were, I’d say they were probably warmed.
Several months ago, one of these women contracted encephalitis and landed in the hospital, unable to speak, in an induced coma. A message went out on Facebook to please pray for her because the following few days would determine whether she survived or not.
Now, a few months of recovery later, she’s attending this weekend’s retreat. She’s taking care of herself by not participating in every hike and snowshoeing adventure, but I’m delighted to see that she hasn’t lost any of her spunk.
This evening, the group threw a surprise celebration for her, complete with cake, champagne, party favors, cards, and gifts.
The love for this woman – for their sister – was so palpable that it was almost a physical presence in the room. She read her cards aloud and showed each gift as if it were a special treasure.
I was reminded tonight about how important community is. A loving support network – whether it’s made of people we see every day, or whose love we feel by closing our eyes for a moment – is a gift beyond words. I’m so grateful to have been in the midst of this sisterhood for an evening.
Thank you to the women of the BJBBCR. Wendy, I am so very glad that you are still with us.
If you are a breast cancer survivor in the New England area and would like to know about the Betty J. Borry Breast Cancer Retreats, go to www.bjbbreastcancerretreats.org.