This one time at little pink camp…
…I met the founder of this amazing organization, the incredible volunstars and eight other families who were going through this crazy journey called cancer. We laughed a lot, we cried just a little bit and I believe some strong friendships were made.
On November 3rd we drove to Tahoe. We arrived at this Baptist Church at four thirty in the evening to get checked in to our Little Pink Retreat. We were greeted by some men outside and then some volunstars (a little pink volunteer) in the foyer and the founder of Little Pink. They were all so friendly and welcoming. I got to meet a few of the people that I had been facebooking with so it was nice to finally see them in person.
We got checked in and then we were shown to our ‘cabin’. Have you ever had a preconceived idea about what things might be like, only to be completely disappointed and need to use your backup plan to escape whatever was coming next? This was the exact opposite experience! I couldn’t believe that someone had donated this four bedroom three bathroom with a living room/dining room and fireplace and a great kitchen with a six burner stove monster of a log home. Little Pink even stocked our fridge with breakfast foods and snacks! I was so blessed to have a beautiful place to stay and wake up to Pine trees and beauty all around me every day!
Anyways, we were shown our house and introduced to our volunstar for the week and then that evening the Baptist church provided a meal for us. That is when we met the other families. Up until that point I was feeling like I didn’t deserve this trip. There were other people who had is worse than I did. But I knew that my family needed this. We needed this. The volunteers at the church were very nice and wanted us to feel comfortable. One lady kept saying we are here to serve you so relax.
You can click the photo for a full screen slide show.
Every day we had the option to participate in an activity. We didn’t have to participate in any of it except the first and last dinner, but we ended up doing every single one, and they were all amazing! The local community supported the Little Pink retreat and came together to open their restaurants & provide some of the activities. We were given gifts from local shops and got to have an amazing date night one night!
So here is a recap of the week’s activities 🙂
Tuesday we went to Sand Harbor. At Sand Harbor State Park the ranger gave us a tour of the information center and we were allowed to walk around considering that they were under construction. For lunch we went to a local church, St.Francis of Assisi, and they provided food and a place to hang out. My family decided that they were going to go swimming in the 54 degree water later that day. Yes, they are crazy!
Wednesday we drove to Squaw Valley and spent some time at Hunky Dory Art Studio and made buttons. Mamasake opened their building and hosted us but the sandwich shop next door provided our food for us. We found some snow for the kids to play in and all the parents sat around and talked – this was a great moment where many of us connected.
Thursday I found myself bike riding with the other families. The Tahoe Yacht Club provided their building for us to hang out in and our Volunstars and founder of little pink made our lunch for us.
Friday morning the ladies had a Survivor coffee. The full belly deli provided our lunch on Friday and we ate it by the beach.
Saturday was the ropes course and the volunstars prepared sack lunches for us. We took our lunch and went to find a 4×4 trail for a little off-road fun on our own.
Dinners were quite the events
Monday we found ourselves at Moe’s BBQ and then we played some silly games after dinner. Wednesday was Pizza and a movie at The Tahoe Cinema Hause. Thursday the volunstars and the founder of little pink watched our kids so we could go out on a date that was on little pink. We found ourselves at Sunnyside, the food was amazing! Friday we were at Jake’s on the lake and then we went bowling in Nevada. Saturday a local couple opened their amazing house to us and there was an Organic Taco Truck catering the evening. A photographer from the bay area volunteered her time to take photos for each of the families. We shared our week’s stories and just enjoyed one last evening together with our new family.
Throughout all of this we made some wonderful friends. Had some deep and real conversations with people we only just met, but it felt like we had known each other forever. Our kids played and got along with the other kids the entire time. William met men who understood what he was going through without needing to talk about it much. I met women that understood what I was feeling without me needing to explain. I met the volunstars who gave up their time to serve us but they also had been through this themselves or their spouses. I met the founder of little pink and she was an encouragement to me when I shared about some of the decisions I was making. I made friends that I have missed these passed weeks and therefore I haven’t written. I didn’t think this group of women would touch my heart so deeply. I didn’t know what to expect when we would get together was it just going to be a complaining fest, who has it worse than who? Would they understand my decisions? I just didn’t know. But we laughed a lot and it wasn’t a whine fest. These women are strong and they are sweet and beautiful. These women are real about what it really is like to go through cancer.
Thank you for being real. I am forever blessed in having the chance to get to know you all.
PS. Oh, I almost forgot…on our way back home we had to stop at Emerald bay and hike around for a few hours. Here are some photos of that afternoon – it was very fun and we got some amazing photos 🙂