Ahhh, the weekend. If we’re lucky, it’s our time, when we can do what we want when we want for two glorious days. For about 20 moms in particular, the last weekend in February feels like heaven. For more than 10 years now, these very special ladies have traveled to Merrywood Camp, an Easter Seal camp near Perth, Ontario, to gather for friendship, information sharing and, most importantly, much needed respite.
The women share an amazing bond. Every one of them is the proud mother of a person with a physical disability or a development delay. They spend countless hours (weekends included) caring for and advocating on behalf of their children. They have all been through similar journeys and lean on each other for encouragement and support.
Their getaway weekend begins on Friday. The moms start arriving through the day and into the evening. Once everyone has arrived and is settled, they gather for introductions and games. Saturday is a very relaxed day (after all, that is what the getaway is about). The coordinators always plan a few special activities, such as massages or manicures and pedicures. Participants can choose what they want to do. Some take a trip into Perth to go shopping. In the evening, they share a homemade meal and then wrap up the day with a $20 gift exchange.
Even though the weekend seems to fly by, the memories last a lifetime. As the ladies pack up, they are already planning for next year. Before their goodbyes, they take a group picture to cherish until they meet again.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend this weekend two years ago. The coordinators thought I’d be a great resource as someone living independently with a disability. The moms were extremely welcoming and I truly felt part of their group. Sadly, I missed last year and will probably miss this year too. I feel blessed, however, because I was not only able to establish some life-long friendships, but it also gave me an even deeper respect for my own mom and everything she has done for me.
If you’re the mom of a special needs child, I highly recommend you take advantage of this rare and special opportunity. There is still space available for this year’s weekend!
There is a $45 fee for the entire weekend and this includes all of your meals. If you have a special diet, you can bring your own food. Feel free to bring snacks and alcohol (if desired). You should bring your own bedding (or sleeping bag), pillows, towels and toiletries. Please bring a wrapped gift with a value of $20 for the gift exchange. There will be a certified massage therapist available for one-hour massages for $25.
Interested? Please contact Connie at 613-608-2559 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org for payment info) or Linda at 613-623-5043.
Thank you for allowing me to share my view!