Sunday, November 02, 2014

Wishing Rock Project

So, How do I explain Wishing Rock to the group at Gonzaga that is going to put together a fabulous web site for us?

This project was born out of knowledge and experiences from ten years in what I call Cancer World.   I was not the primary ticket holder but the companion fare.  My daughter was diagnosed twice with Leukemia before her 20th birthday. As the Mom, I scrambled to manage all the the cancer stuff and regular life.  Sometimes it was easier than other times.

Because it is all about survival and we are survivors at heart and pretty good campers, we figured out some pretty important things.  Some from the first stint and lots from the second trip down the rabbit hole.  One thing we always had was our "hospital bags".  They contained our survival kits.  Certain cloths, a bag of toothpaste, good hair stuff, the usual.  But we also soon had a special small part of the bag devoted to Magic and Prayers. Sort of a charm pouch.

Special pictures, a bendy skeleton from a special roommate, a hospital approved candle, a Zuni fetish. A magic blanket, the right pillow.  Things to focus good energy.  I of course had a very good china cup that traveled with me.  I could not drink endless morning coffee in paper.  It was something we perfected over the many many moons of treatment and hospitalizations.  So we survived and we escaped but one if never truly free of Cancer World.  It live around the edges of our lives. 

So about a year ago I heard about three families with new diagnosis on Christmas Eve.  Hello, Merry Christmas, Your life is now changed forever.....  

It pulled at my heart in a way I had never experienced. I was compelled to do something for the families.  So I put together a bag.  

It has changed over the year but it has some things that are helpful and some that are "just because".  So the bags contain the following

A bag... a nice bag for hauling stuff, laundry, food, stuff.  Reusable.
A china mug for good coffee drinking
A Starbucks card because they have one at the hospital
A couple of tea bags because the nurses have instant hot water.
A magazine because no one can read anything more comprehensive
A small wind chimes.  We found they make the multiple pumps that beep all the time, much happier.
A nice bead from the Mom's.  There is a Beads of Courage program for the kids but the moms often need them too.
A Wishing Rock. (Wishing rocks represent a sudden and complete interruption in a life  But show that after the interruption, life can continue.  A blip of sorts. 
Mint gum.
Thank-you notes with stamps.
Some Mint Water if we can find it.

A little bag of magic.

I also include a letter with some practical advice like, Get someone to take out your garbage, do your laundry. Sweep up your front stoop.... I put the list in because people in crisis don't know what they need and at the beginning of the process everyone wants to help.  I have found that giving people meaningful jobs helps keep them around.   People want to help. They don't want to intrude but they have open giving hearts and need some positive direction. Someone who has had a child in Cancer World really understands.  It also has to be okay for people to ask for help.  That is so so hard.  We are generally good at giving but not very good at accepting or asking.  

so... We have a Facebook Page.  Wishing Rock Project.  We have some great initial contributors.  We have figured out the "how to get the stuff to the right people"  problem solved. 

Hey Gonzaga Class, thanks for helping us set up a web site.  I have the domain name in the bag.  We are a legitimate Washington State Non-Profit Corporation.  We have not yet filed for the Feds yet.  They want 400 dollars and a year or two of time to see if we are real. At some point we will make that leap.  Right now we are just chugging along. One bag of magic at a time. 

 Clearly it is needed. 

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