Dear Mom, | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Dear Mom,

Uploaded: Jun 16, 2016
Dear Mom,

I miss you so much. I'm at Camp Kesem, a place for kids and teens who have a parent with cancer. Mostly they have activities like any other sleep over camp, make friends, and climb on the counselors. But tonight they have Roots, where they share their stories about cancer (if they want to). The beginning of the ritual was so beautiful and sacred.

There was a labyrinth of lights on the floor, and as they came into the room, they were given a continuous piece of string to hold onto, symbolizing the connection they all have as young people affected by cancer, and of their connection to one another. Soft guitar and drumming was accompanying them as they processed.

Eventually everyone was in the labyrinth, and they sat down, people with their arms around each other, offering comfort and presence.

The leadership team (Rainbow) read letters from the gold group of campers -- the oldest campers who are away backpacking for two nights as part of camp -- letting everyone know what Roots means to them. An opportunity to share and be with grief, or not share and hold space for others to do so. That being seen and heard is healing. That grieving in community is important. The learning and knowledge that it's ok to have feelings, be vulnerable, to cry (and it's more than ok to do so with others); it makes us human, not weak.

I was crying softly, missing you so much. I'm crying as I write this.

After the letters were read, Rainbow came around and cut the string so the campers could tie their piece around their wrist; I saw many campers help each other tie theirs.

Music accompanied them as they finished the sacred walk through and out of the labyrinth to meet with their small groups to share as they wish.

I went outside and hugged one of our nurses whose mom died five years ago -- she's sad, too. We sat watching the light fade from the sky, turkeys eating on the golden hillside, a couple of bucks with large antlers grazing nearby. Hawks, Bluejays, Woodpeckers, Ravens and other birds flew through the evening air.

"Life goes on," I thought to myself. And it does, but I still miss you keenly. Tonight was a time when that missing and grief rose to the surface again, as it will periodically for the rest of my life.

My big plan for the evening was to rest, so I can be available to support the counselors if they need it at their meeting which starts at 11:30 PM. Instead I am writing to you, sharing my Roots story. My howl after I hung up the phone after telling you your cancer was fatal. I've hardly cried since you died -- I got quiet -- but I'm crying now.

You are loved and remembered always, mom of my heart.

I sure hope we get to meet again someday so I can hug you again, and we can do the things we love doing together.

These campers are so fortunate to have Camp Kesem; a safe place to be kids, even though the evil cancer has touched their lives.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:

Follow this blogger (Receive an email when blogger makes a new post)

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Vina Enoteca to serve first 'Impossible burger' in Silicon Valley
By Elena Kadvany | 20 comments | 5,619 views

Coupon for Yourself and Your Partner
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,183 views

Housing Impact Fees and the Economy
By Steve Levy | 0 comments | 413 views

 

2017 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2017 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here