Thursday, October 2, 2014

Our Yurting Weekend of Gratitude

February 2005 a group of families came together to embark on a new adventure, winter camping in a yurt. Organized by my dear friend Jenn Somers, with our children ages 1-5 we had our first yurting weekend in a snowstorm, with no power. Of course, we stuck it out in the freezing cold conditions, shoveling our way out and making the best of our conditions. The Pinery offered us a free night of yurting between September and November to compensate us for the lack of power, this is how the fall yurting tradition started. Fast forward 10 years, there are two of the original families still apart of the group along with new friends who have joined our yurting family over the years. Once you have been apart of this special weekend, it becomes part of your family's traditions. Now there are 6 steady families who make September and February weekends a non-negotiable part of our year. I am so grateful for the support of these amazing people.

We all knew that this fall yurting weekend would be an extra special one. My last chemotherapy treatment took place on Monday, when we booked our yurting weekend, the timing was going to be a little bit better for me but some delays etc took place over the course of the six months of treatment. Hence, I knew that I was not going to be feeling my best but we as a family decided that I might as well be surrounded by friends and sunshine even if I am not well. I am so thankful that over the course of the weekend, I had the energy to sit on the deck with my best friends, laugh, celebrate and watch our kids having the time of their lives. With Jason's help I made it to the beach for a short time on Saturday and was able to enjoy Lake Huron and bask in the sunshine. Everyone was so amazing with their support, taking care of our kids, feeding us and realizing that I was going to need frequent naps and early bed times.  The weekend could not have gone better.

What made the weekend most special was something my daughter Jordan organized. This 14 year old girl, is wise beyond her years, empathetic, thoughtful, caring and above all has learned how important it is to be grateful for all we have. Jordan created a "yurting grateful jar" decorated with pictures of our group from all our yurting years, ribbons to symbolize the cancer cells leaving my body and pictures for everyone from our yurting group to write down how they are grateful for me, thankful for what we are blessed with and appreciation for my journey. It brought tears to all of our eyes that this 14 year old girl would put this together on her own, she has shown unbelieveable maturity in supporting me in my cancer fight and I couldn't be prouder.

My wonderful friends Kristen, Trish and Karen arranged for the kids to make me a banner posted on the side of our yurt congratulating me on finishing treatment and beating cancer. The best part was a t-shirt proclaiming "I kicked Lymphoma's a**!" Everyone signed the back of the shirt and I wore it proudly all weekend. I am so priviledged to call these women my closest friends. As I have said before, these friends have shown our kids that friends really are part of our family. All of them love our kids like their own and have shown our family such unconditional love and support through this journey. Thank you.

Our 10th annual yurting weekend approaches in February 2015, I look forward to enjoying the winter experience stronger, full of energy and on a healthy path to wellness.

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