Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This is why I teach...
When I started teaching 14 years ago little did I know where this path would lead me. I wanted to teach to share a bit of myself with my students...to inspire them...to pass my love of quilting on...to make a difference.
When I started hostessing my weekend retreats little did I know where this path would lead me. I wanted to do it for the sheer fun of it all...getting to spend oodles of time with everyone in a non-teaching atmosphere.
Last year, and one retreat in particular, I had two cancer survivors that purposely scheduled their chemo treatments so they could have their "good days" during the retreat; I had one retreater who was spending her last days with her close friends and secretly leaving afterwards to escape an abusive relationship; and two retreaters were spending time with each other after losing a husband and a son. There are no words for what I felt. I learned that these retreats weren't "just for fun"...they had become a critical and important part in some of these women's lives and it was my priviledge and honor to provide this weekend for them.
When I started these retreats, one retreater in particular, Eva, found her way deep into my heart and has permanently planted herself there. I met her for the first time when she started fighting the battle of her life with cancer. Eva is a teacher...has the most amazing smile, sense of humor, lust for life and looks amazing in a pink hat!
She joined me at my July retreat in McCloud this year in-between chemo treatments on her "good days". She was very down due to the inconsiderate and rude behavior of a fellow worker the day before her retreat. I made it my mission to turn it around...and it worked!
At the end of each retreat I have some special gifts and one of those may be my "Brave Award"...a beautiful pincushion presented to somebody that has gone above and beyond...and this was presented to Eva...for obvious reasons. It was an especially difficult weekend for me as we had just lost my "second mom" aka mother-in-law to cancer.
I just received this letter from Nancy regarding Eva and I hope they don't mind that I am sharing this with you. I think every one of you can relate to this...I hope it inspires you...and if you are fighting cancer please let Eva provide you inspiration. I have attached two photos...Eva is pictured on the far left with the amazing smile and the pink hat. The pink quilt below that is the one talked about in Nancy's letter.
Take the time to tell the people you love how much you appreciate them...pass a little of yourself along every single day...and dare to make a difference.
Luvu, Cindy :)
This is part of Nancy's letter:
"I thought you might want to know that Eva has improved so much! Her "number" count has declined and getting close to normal...I know you were an important part of her positive attitude the retreat weekend as she continues to talk about it...She told me she really likes the pin cushion you gave her as it is very special to her...We have pulled together and created a quilt for raffle with the proceeds going to the organization that is helping Eva pay her medical costs that insurance is not covering...Eva named it "Pink Light of Sunrise"-sunrise represents the starting of a bright new day and hope for the breast cancer survivor. Just want to say thank you and we will always remember your kindness and support long into the future. It is an important time for us with everyone that touches Eva's life during this time. Our hope is strong for her to have a long life.