Family Mealtime: The gift of PRESENCE during this Magical Season!

 In News

A message from our founder and CEO, Marci Schankweiler:

This month, I was privileged to accompany eight families on their respite at Woodloch. What I saw in the faces of all those young parents and their children was transformational for me as a leader; I witnessed transformational healing, transformational hope, transformational friendship, and transformational fellowship, all created in their six-day Travel Respite Experience at Woodloch Resort.  And what I witnessed gave me pause.

This time of the year is about PRESENCE. Yes, there is the other P word, PRESENTS, but I am referring to complete presence of body, mind and soul with those that you love.  Last week I watched PRESENCE be formative for our FPS respite families. And I saw it most during something that we can all experience daily – breaking bread together.  Yes, it’s as simple as sharing a meal.

During last week’s respite, FPS provided 350 hot meals. Aside from being delicious and served with cheer, thanks to the talented chefs and staff at Woodloch, the meals were nutritious fuel for the body, especially important when fighting cancer. And the meals provided the gift of time together around the table for all our families.  Time spent talking, laughing, sharing, crying, communicating – kids smiling, teenagers interacting and parents giggling – simple expressions of sharing PRESENCE with one another.  I’ll even add collaborating to this list as families would often devise at breakfast their daily schedule to ensure that every activity at Woodloch was covered that day!

How beautiful and how simple it was for me as a leader to witness three hours of mealtime daily, during which the families had simple PRESENCE.

During this holiday season, let us think about our own PRESENCE around our table.  And let’s share this gift with those that we love – with hope in that during this magical season, PRESENCE is as transformational as what was so uniquely shared during respite!