The Value of Coming Together on TAPS Retreat IslandWood
Author: Laurie Whitham
TAPS mom's retreat on Bainbridge Island, Washington! What a wonderful experience, moms meeting moms on the beautiful nature oriented campus of Islandwood. Quiet, peaceful, and slow paced, the venue offers many opportunities for reflecting, sharing, and building friendships with others who "get it".
I'm a mom of a son who died in 2004 while serving in the army in Mosul, Iraq. Even though I am entering my twelfth year after that loss, I realize the value in coming together with other moms in like circumstances as the event of my son's death is a permanent part of my history. The TAPS retreats are orchestrated as "safe" places to come together, whether there are tears, laughter, questions, or just a need to share with other moms. We honor our loved ones when we can share them.
I spoke with other moms near the end of our stay who felt our sons had been brought together in their next plane of existence and met one another, just as we had been brought together on this retreat. What a comforting feeling! We were certain they smiled upon us while we were together at "outdoor school"!
The Islandwood Staff could not have been more supportive, polite, and attentive in hosting our group.
~Great quotes along our reflective walk
~A wonderful yoga instructor and restorative, healing class
~Use of the art studio, Friendship Center for a campfire and s'mores
~Cozy cabin-like rooms
~A warm, inviting great room
All great settings for sharing new friendships! Special mention is needed for the particularly wonderful, nourishing meals prepared for all moms! Supreme comfort food! Great variety and plentiful helpings. Yum! Kat's highlight...the camp brownies :-) THANK YOU, THANK YOU Islandwood and Staff.
I have new friends that I miss already. Strong, courageous women, walking the same walk as me! Love and hugs to all of them: Robin, Thaiis, Konnie, Fran, Diane, Laurie F., Annemarie, Pam, Sue H., Andrea, Leslie, Sue M., Trish, Bonnie, Debbie, Chris, Marilyn, Karen, Theda, Laura, as well as our leaders, Kat, Diana, Sue, and Bunnie.
From my full and comforted heart, Laurie Whitham , mom of Specialist Chase R. Whitham