What a WONDERFUL weekend… HOPE IS DEFINITELY NOT CANCELED!
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Children’s Craniofacial Association’s 30th Annual Retreat…Virtual Edition!
Obviously this year’s retreat was a little different from past retreats, but I can tell you for sure that I felt the love radiating from this amazing group of individuals, even in this virtual environment. As a first timer, I was a little nervous and had no idea what to expect. As I logged onto the first webinar those nerves quickly melted away and a sense of calm washed over me. I had found a new home; I had found a new tribe.
This community is comprised of children, parents, and adults whose lives have been touched in some way by a craniofacial difference, whether it be a personal journey or the journey of someone they love; we all were on common ground and that was inspiring to witness for the first time.
As a child, often times, I felt alone. No one around me truly understood what I was going through and this continued all through my teens into adulthood. Not only did I bear the physical burdens that came with Goldenhar, but also the emotional isolation and guilt that was hidden behind a strategically placed smile.
As I reflect on these last few days, I am so grateful to have connected with CCA and look forward to forging lifelong friendships with some pretty amazing people from all around the world. As an adult living with a craniofacial difference it is my hope to lift up the younger generation as they find their way in this world and to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have been and seen a lot of the same things I have… the good, bad, and the ugly.
This weekend fed my soul and has inspired me to keep pushing. Remember HOPE IS NOT CANCELED and to ALWAYS #ChooseKind.
P.S. Yesterday, the closing day of the CCA retreat, also marked 5 years to the day when I learned to love myself for the first time by sharing my story publicly. Some may call it chance… I call it fate.
Sending LOVE to my CCA family!