I saw individuals come on Friday .... who didn't look like they had much hope.
And I saw others who did.
But slowly, as the weekend wore on ..... I saw more hope on the faces of the former.
And I knew that all the work we had done to get this Camp here .... was more than worth it.
This was my fourth (out of 4) Camp Widow.
This was my favorite Camp Widow.
I met so many of you ..... and each one of you touched my heart. I could feel my heart growing over the weekend.
It now holds more people than it did before.
Some of you I held .... while you cried.
Some of you laughed with me, until we both cried.
And some of you listened to me, as I cried.
Yes, there were tears this weekend.
But tears are not a bad thing.
Tears can connect us to one another.
I saw a lot more laughing than I did crying.
I know I laughed WAY more than I cried.
In fact, I cried less at this Camp Widow than I did in the past.
Not that laughter is better than tears .... but it is a bit more fun.
(And laughing doesn't leave my nose red for 3 hours afterward.)
I saw a lot of beauty this weekend.
I saw a lot of love and acceptance.
I saw a lot of friendships made .... or deepened.
I saw a lot of understanding.
I saw a lot of ..... hope.
I did not see the inside of my lids much.
Nor did the rest of the board.
But we know that every hour of lost sleep was one more hour we were probably getting to spend meeting/talking with someone new.
And maybe that someone needed hope.
Or maybe just to laugh.
I'm not sure what each and every person needed who came to Camp Widow.
But I'd best that most of us wanted to connect with someone else.
And many of us needed ..... hope.
And if THESE didn't give anyone hope .....
(S'mores on a stick .... WHO KNEW these existed?!)
....... then I would dare to bet that faces like this did.
To those of you who came .... thank you.
Thank you for the love and friendship you gave me.
Thank you for the tears.
Thank you for the laughs.
And thank YOU ..... for the hope.
The hope that we can keep making these weekends happen .... so that more and more widowed people will be able to attend.
And leave with hope.