I’m so happy to welcome July with open arms after a pretty slow June came and went very quietly. I’ll be traveling a bit more this month and will surely have some exciting stories to share later on! On the first of the month, the whole family and I took a very scenic drive up to Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. It’s about an hour outside of Boston on the north shore. We were there for Sailing Heals, an organization that gives cancer patients and their loved ones a day out at sea.
In fall of 2015, my mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). I remember her telling me on the phone one night after work. I haven’t really thought about that exact evening in a long time but I remember ending the call and bursting into tears seconds later. With so little details and only the word “cancer”, it was extremely scary. My mind had a million questions and I automatically thought of the worst. Fortunately, as we learned more and she started chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital we began to feel much more secure considering the situation. A lot of long days in the hospital. Currently, she is in remission and much healthier.
During treatment, mom had joined a small group of women who all have or had cancer. My mom had a really hard time getting used to all the changes her body was going through during treatment and their goal was to exercise and get moving together. She had learned about Sailing Heals through one of the women who had taken part previously. When she had inquired about an upcoming event they were hosting, the founder, Trisha, graciously allowed all four of us to come along! The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful day to spend with Sailing Heals at the Manchester Yacht Club.
Lunch before the sail.
Our host captains Sam & Sue took us out on their 38′ sailboat which was just absolutely stunning! My family is from New England including few coastal communities so it was wonderful to be out on the water. I could tell mom felt like she was in her natural habitat and she was visibly relaxing! Hanging around these little yacht clubs is just a reminder that it’s a very small world out here. It only takes a moment for her to find someone familiar with our family. Once your family has roots set in New England it’s hard to ever shake them off no matter where you end up in the world!
Anthony also had a great time steering the boat! Sam was teaching him all about the sails and navigation symbols in the water which was so cute to watch. I think we have a future sailor on our hands! We didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived but it turned out to be such a fantastic day and a really well-organized event. I have not experienced a day like this with my entire family in so long. It felt so good to be with everyone, enjoy the sea, the moment and not worry about any chaos in our lives.
Sailing Heals offers completely free sails to the patients and their caregivers with sails out of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, South Carolina, Maryland, Florida, and California so far. It was such a fantastic opportunity and experience with my family. I highly recommend taking a look if you know someone who could benefit from this and enjoy a day at sea. You can also donate in honor of someone.
xo, Rebecca (Bex)
For more information: Sailingheals.org