Garden GracesPosted by Lynette on August 1, 2012 at 4:41pm
“I Come to the Garden Alone” were the words from a hymn that I remember my grandma and mom singing when I was a child. Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of spending an hour alone in the garden of my friend Patrice. She was my mushroom guru, my great friend, a Soul supporter in countless ways and one amazingly talented woman. She died the same night as our friend Kenny after only about 40 days out from diagnosis. She and I were such opposites, she calm and jovial, unbelievably generous and thoughtful, capable of using any electronic device with ease, an organized business woman and a gardener and chef extraordinaire. We shared a passion for creating, for mushrooming and for our daughters. In the past years we have spent hours alone on drives to the Cascades or days alone at our cabin. She was always laughing at my passionate and loud approach to so many things. She would remind me that it was not easy to keep up with the speed of my tongue, making me laugh at myself. I miss her so much already and my heart goes out to her husband and daughters as I can’t really imagine what they are feeling when I miss her this much. Patrice became friends with many of my friends and truly she is one person that would be difficult in which to find even one small fault. I have blueberries downstairs from her garden, a communion from her hands to my ragtag body. I will keep mushrooming with our mutual friends and of course at the cabin where we delighted in the idea that not only is the cabin the best craft retreat around, but we only had to drive about 10 minutes from the door to be in mushroom heaven. Rest in peace dear friend. Memorials can be made to your local food bank to honor this amazing woman. I crafted a heart out of seed stems on her bench as I left, similar to what I normally do at the rock at Hartstine where I build memorials, she is in my heart forever.
Yesterday was also Megan’s final day as program director here at Soulumination, she will be back to do some training with our new hire, Michelle. Megan and I worked side by side for nearly 2 years, bringing together her calm, organized and hard working approach to my jumbled, whacky way of working, an oddly mismatched duo that with the help of countless volunteers and the rest of the office staff helped serve hundreds of families in the time she was here. Working with me can be a test especially when we are so different, but Megan did a grand job of it and I am so happy to call her my friend and to look forward to working at a wedding on Oahu so she can assist me as she did on Sunday when we had such a great time photographing one of our Soul volunteer’s wedding. Megan leaves to join her family business and I am sure she will shine brightly as she moves into a new field. I am posting a photo she took of Andrew who put together our new website free of charge. He was a school mate of Megan’s from Hawaii, and it was a great way for us to come together at the end of her tenure. I think in the past 2 weeks we have learned a lot from each other that will serve us both well as we step into the future.
The staff and volunteers are currently working on creating the gifts for the Camp Agape families. The photos are joyous and truly a reflection of how that camp is so fun and beneficial to all who are lucky enough to attend. I want to thank the volunteers who are so lovingly taking pride in the creations of each family’s gifts. I watch Cassie our TIPS intern working hard and effectively each day she comes to work. Hats off to our new volunteer, Emily who has jumped in so willingly. Also kudos to Joan who works with an open heart, doing anything we ask and who will now be brightening our new office with her planting skills. We are truly blessed by the hands of many. We are sad to say that Mary is no longer with us on a regular basis, her calm and gentle presence will be missed but we are happy she has gotten a promotion at work that will keep her from regularly helping. We are hopeful to see her at work parties as she is one good friend and such a devoted person. I am only mentioning here the people that I saw helping yesterday, many more reach out with care and compassion.
As I look ahead to working with Michelle our new program director, I am excited and grateful that we have found a person who seems to fit our needs so beautifully. It is exciting to think of the move to the new offices. We are most grateful for the support that has gotten us to this point. On Tuesday we received calls for three new families for Soul and Pat our board member has brought us another new legacy family. We are busy indeed so Michelle will walk into the action on the 6th.
I want to thank today our board president and vice president, Kelly and Heather for their endless hours of work and for helping keep me stable and solid as the founding director thru this time of battling lymphoma. Both women have been incredible and I am grateful and relieved to know that when I am not able to meet all requirements that they are there fighting the good fight and moving us ahead. In love, peace and gratitude, Lynette
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We serve families with children, ages 18 & under, facing life-threatening conditions. We also serve families with terminally-ill parents nearing end-of-life, who have children ages 18 & under. Learn more