We just wrapped up our 2016 annual board meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, our wonderful and wise facilitator, Norma Williamson, suggested we spend some time acknowledging the change and loss that we, as a board, have experienced this last year. She talked about that sensation of swinging on a trapeze..letting go of the safe bar you are clinging to..and flying for just moment before grabbing onto the next bar. The space of time between the rungs is a place we have all felt like we have been recently. Our most devastating loss was the death of our beloved Arleen. She was the heart of our program in many ways. We all wished she were there with us to offer her advice, her observations, and mostly her authentic joy and energy for Big Big World Project. Before we began, we lit a candle to serve as symbol of the light that Arleen brought to our work, It was a sad moment but also a moment of strength. I felt like I wanted to do well, to make her proud of us.
Our next big change was losing a special board member. One of the co-founders, Cynthia, resigned from active board duty and has taken the role of Emeritus Director. Her dedication to the children has been constant and powerful. Her history with the project is irreplaceable.
We really did need to talk about how to move forward with such big changes, and acknowledging the wonderful contributions these people made during their time on the board was very cathartic for us. We spent a few moments celebrating these women and their contributions before we dug in to the work of giving kids a chance in this life. The kids have been through some pretty big changes as well- and they grabbed the next bar on the trapeze too. More about that soon.