Amazing things happen #2
Yes, again choosing to live the unusual results in the most unexpected things happening…
I was excited that MSNBC had done an article on Perinatal Hospice. Amy Kuebelbeck is an author (Waiting With Gabriel & A Gift of Time) and advocate who does a great job of getting the word of this care model out to the general population and she was interviewed. They included a link to perinatalhospice.org in the article and all the programs in the US are listed by state.
One day I received a call at work, it was from a lovely woman named Heather telling me that she saw the article and was moved by it. She shared it with her mother-in-law who was also struck by the whole idea. They decided that they wanted to contribute to the care of families in this situation and what they had to offer was the use of one of their family homes. Their family had recently built a retreat style private home for family gathers and special events in rural Virginia and when they followed the link from MSNBC to Perinatalhospice.org, the person closest to the home was me.
They offered the use of the house thinking that we could do family retreats. That is WAY outside the scope and expertise of my practice, I quickly dismissed the offer and thanked them for their generosity. On my way home a few days later, I was bemoaning the fact that all my peers are so geographically separated from each other that we never have a chance to see each other in person – then the lightbulb went off over my head. Maybe I could use that house to host other Perinatal Loss professionals for learning retreats.
My daughter and I took a road trip (it was a respectable distance away) to meet the owner of the home and see what it was like. What a joy to meet Anne and the friends she had collected there that day. Anne is a visionary and a kind and generous woman. She undertook the building of this home knowing they would occasionally share it, but she didn’t know who she would share it with. I said so “if you build it, they will come” ? (For the very young, that is a reference to the movie “Field of Dreams”).
The house reflects Anne’s personality, creativity and vision around every corner. There is a 5 story bell tower that is the focal point of the house and in that tower is a library, meditation room, welcome area, and belfry of the tower. The library has a Narnia wardrobe with a secret door in the back that takes you to a platform on the roof. My daughter helped paint an apple tree on the wall of the children’s reading nook under the stairs.
There are rock climbing walls to get into bunk beds and the 7 bedrooms on the main bedroom floor are each decorated for a different continent. Yes you can stay in Europe or Antarctica or Australia. To keep track of which towel was yours when the house was full, each was embroidered with a different word…there was love, faith, peace, patience, wisdom, faithfulness (I would have NEVER thought of that). There were Bible verses built into floors and walls and a special place just to brew coffee.
I realized that I understood Anne’s design vision when I looked at the giant eagle finial at the bottom of the staircase and said “that eagle comes off and there is a time capsule hidden in the newel post”. I grabbed the eagle and tugged it upward…it came off easily; I peeked in and saw a time capsule hidden in the newel post. That made me so happy.
Circumstances fell into place and before I knew it, the Board of PLIDA (Pregnancy Loss Infant Death Alliance) was staying there for a weekend. What a wonderful, unexpected blessing. When I was showing one of my fellow Board members to their Africa room, they said to me “Tammy, tell me again how we got here”.
“They found us on the internet”.
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