"I like it here because you get to share memories."
News & Events
Newsletter Summer 2009
From the Director
When our children, teens and adults decide that it is time to “move on” or stop coming to Mary’s Place, the rock ceremony is performed during the closing of their last group as a way of saying goodbye. It is important for those moving on to acknowledge their readiness to leave the program and to experience the feelings that come up with saying goodbye. It is also important for those remaining to acknowledge the loss of one of the members of the group.
The rock ceremony consists of giving the child, teen or adult a pouch with four symbolic rocks: three are polished, shiny and smooth; one is rough and unpolished. The three polished rocks symbolize all the hard work the individual did while grieving in the group. The rough rock acts as a reminder that although they will face difficulties throughout their lives, they have the ability to deal with them. The rough rock also serves to remind them that grieving is a life-long process. The pouch of rocks becomes an important symbol of their time at Mary’s Place.
Last Sunday five of our children received their rocks. In our closing circle each member of the group had an opportunity to share a special memory of the person leaving and wish them well. Four of the children had been coming to Mary’s Place for more than three years. Their leaving was bittersweet for many of us. One thing that resonated in the sharing was that this group had become a family. Each child had come here feeling alone, looking for a place to express his/her grief, looking for support and comfort. Each had found that here. The common thread of grief present in all their lives had linked them together.
In the rock-polishing process, stones tumble against each other and are sanded down by the grit until they are smooth and round. In life, we also are buffeted and worn down by pain, tears, deaths, disappointments and hardships. It is hard and often painful but in the process we too can become more like polished, shiny rocks.
Thank you all for your support. It is because of you that we are able to provide a place of comfort and hope for the many children and families who come to us.
Our Rock Ceremony is modeled after that developed by the Dougy Center in Portland Oregon.
Our Family Picnic
On Sunday, July 12th, nearly 150 people, including our children, families, staff, volunteers and board members, gathered at Northwest Park in Windsor for our Third Annual Family Picnic and Butterfly Release.
The day began with our children and families making memory pillows, sharing stories and writing memories on paper butterflies which were placed on our Memory Tree.
Once everyone finished their projects, lunch was served. This year we were especially fortunate to have the support of the Windsor/Windsor Locks Rotary Club. Not only did their donation help offset the cost of the picnic but several Rotarian were present to help with cooking and in any way they could.
We were also most appreciative to have the Windsor Explorers with us again this year. They entertained our children with face painting, water balloons and relay races.
As always, a poignant part of the day occured when each of our children released a butterfly in memory of their special person who had died.
Our day ended with ice cream sundaes and of course, our closing circle.
It was a day filled with memories, love and hope.
Our thanks to the following who helped make the day so special:
Windsor/Windsor Locks Rotary Club
In this issue
Special Thanks Bill
Our thanks and best wishes to Bill Steinka, a long standing board member who has retired and relocated to South Carolina. Bill has done so much for Mary’s Place over the years. He will be greatly missed. We wish him and his wife Bunny much happiness.
Come run or walk with us...
Charity Tag Sale
We thank Konica Minolta Business Solution USA, Inc. for designating Mary’s Place as one of the charities to receive proceeds from their recent tag sale. We are also most grateful to them for generously printing our newsletter without cost.
Teens Put on Play
Several teens were recently involved in a play titled Invincible:A Cabaret, which dealt with teen issues. The play was well received by all who attended.
We are grateful to Samantha Partney, Laura Wood, KC Beauregard and Amy Newberg for donating proceeds from the play to Mary’s Place.
Mother's Day Plants Donated
Thanks to Ronald Wade of Wade’s Farms, Bloomfield, who donated two flats of flowers. Our children planted the flowers in clay pots which they had decorated. The finished pots were gifts for their mothers, living or deceased.
"Taking Steps for Every Cause"
Our thanks to Mrs. Lindsay Tringali and her students, especially Krisela Karaja for selecting Mary’s Place as one of the charities represented in their Walk-a-thon.
Not only did the students raise money for our center, they also made the community more aware of our services.
Volunteer Appreciation Reception 2009
Pictured left to right are John Carmon, board member; Ashley Ransom, teen helper; Glen Pelligrinelli, volunteer facilitator; and Florence Barlow, board member.