Friday, September 3, 2010

rettaway 2010

it's hard to adequately sum up a las vegas getaway with 11 other women who were, for the most part, complete strangers up until our arrival. nine of whom i had never met face to face. all of whom, just months before, i had never even heard of.

it's hard to explain how i wish i never had to meet these particular women, but i'm oh-so-glad i did.

it's hard to adequately sum up a getaway with 9 other women who are able to say exactly what i have felt {and haven't been able to find the words to say}. who have similar experiences and feelings and thoughts and fears.

it's hard to explain how, when i arrived at the las vegas airport that hot august morning, my worries of not knowing what to say or whether or not these women would even like me flew right out the window.

it's still kind of surreal that we could first see each other from across the baggage claim, give one another the most welcoming and understanding embraces and begin our conversations as if we had been the best of friends for years.

but that's exactly what happened.

about 2 months ago, i, along with 10 other women, got the following email from my fellow rett-mom friend, erica:

"So the idea has been tossed around long enough and I say we go for it! If anyone deserves a weekend away it's us. Some of us have met in person and some not yet, but I feel as close you ladies as I do to my long time friends if not closer! How about 2 nights in Vegas? Sun, fun, a show perhaps? I know what you are thinking: who can afford to go to Vegas next month? Well I CANT! But that's what credit cards are for! So check out flights from your town on your cheapest airline for August 13-15 and let me know what you think? This might be too aggressive but I REALLY want to hang out with you guys!...xxoo Erica"

i waited a bit to respond. ryan and i were already planning to drive to utah that weekend and our vacation was only going to overlap with my sister's visit for one day. only one day to meet my new nephew and squeeze my niece and chat with my sister. but i had this pit in my stomach because i wanted to go so bad. i so wanted to meet these other women. i just wanted to be in a room with other people who understood my unique problem and knew how i felt without me needing to awkwardly try to explain. i needed their strength. i needed their experience. i needed their friendship.

so, i talked with ryan and we decided i should go. we'd drive out to utah one day earlier so i would still have a day with my sister and then i could fly to vegas from there.

and so i did.

the response from the others was incredible as well! everyone who didn't already have something else planned figured out babysitting, scheduling, flights and finances to make it happen. i joined nine other moms who all have daughters ages 2-5 with rett syndrome, 1 sister and 1 sister-in-law for two days in the hot, las vegas sunshine.

we relaxed, we sunbathed, we walked, we talked, we dressed up, we dressed down, we ate, we drank {um, i just drank water...}, and we had the best and fastest two days we could have imagined - even if some luggage was lost. we even slept in! in fact, one of my favorite quotes from the week was from bridget: her five-year-old daughter, annie, always wakes up multiple times a night {um, we so understand that!}. we went to bed after midnight on friday, but got up around 8am on saturday and bridget exclaimed first thing, "wow! i can't believe i just got 7 uninterrupted hours of sleep!" you should have seen the smile on her face.

yup, this "rettaway" was just. that. good. so good, in fact, we've already begun planning our getaway for next year {and, much to erica and erin's dismay, it doesn't include walking down a filthy sidewalk in wedge heels for 4 hours}.

the rest, my friends, is better summed up in pictures:

we had no idea they'd welcome us with a step and repeat!
{p.s. i'm the one with sleeves!}
from left to right:
dawn, erin, zenaida, erica, bridget, carrie, kelly, erin, maren, ann marie, colleen;
not pictured: hilda

walking, walking, walking...mmm...spago. i left this fun surprise on erica's camera. i'm so cool. and pretty. i found a tongue twin!!tubin'mmm...burgers. l.o.l.missed you ann marie...
"making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.

wouldn't you like to get away?

sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

and they're always glad you came.

you wanna be where you can see your troubles are all the same.

you wanna go where everybody knows your name
{las vegas "rettaway" weekend 08.12.10-08.15.10}


ed and kelli said...

looks like fun.. side note, e may be your tongue twin too... and even though i wish it were longer, it was fun to see you at all:) but i'm glad you were able to go meet these ladies, i know it was important to you!

Erica said...

chills chills chills.
so glad it worked out.
cant wait for next time! and NOT walking for hours in heels!

Dawn said...

I miss you all so much already and wish we lived closer! Thank you for being a great friend and see you soon!

Afton said...

I want to hear more tomorrow night! I'm so glad it was such a fun trip, I can't imagine what it was like with all of your common link and needing a break, I'm so happy for you!