I was afraid that the Cornucopia Workshop would bring back memories that I’d buried years ago.  All of the workshop participants were individuals receiving cancer treatment, and my family, including myself, has had its share.

Cornucopia Cancer Center

            Much to my surprise, the ladies who joined us to make Non-Scents flowers were different than I’d imagined.  One was quite funny.   Two women were pensive and quiet. Another was upbeat and complimentary. There were only the four women, and that made teaching origami easy for me.  I was able to help them, one on one, create an origami arrangement they could take home, containing inspirational messages they wrote for themselves.  All of the bouquets came out beautifully. Since we only had an hour, I premade all of the flowers, but brought origami paper in case we had time to fold some after the four-flower arrangements were finished.  I had precut stems, tissue foliage, and tulle enhancements, as well.  Although I’d put together kits with color-coordinated vases, flowers and accessories for each person, some of the ladies chose to mix things up and select varying colors from the extra kits on hand, and their finished products had a colorful, perky look to them. There were the solemn moments during the day that made me stop and think how fortunate we are to have our health.  One woman had a hot flash and admitted that, if she were alone, she’d remove her wig.  Another told me she’d moved to North Carolina from New Hampshire to be with her sister while receiving cancer treatment.  She was alone in New England, and there was no one to look after her. The quiet lady admitted she had a developmentally challenged son, and I knew she must worry about his care and wellbeing should she be unable to help him. We did have time to make an origami flower, as everyone finished their arrangements with time to spare.  I was curious to know what messages each survivor had written, rolled up, and tucked into their flowers.  I hoped they were all full of positive energy, with good thoughts and wishes for the future. Each lady chose the color origami paper they wanted, and Elizabeth and I joined them in making one more flower. One of the ladies was so impressed with her creation; she credited us with being geniuses for starting Non-Scents. We laughed, embarrassed by the praise, but assured our group that we’d be available for them should they ever want to have this workshop again.  It was a gift for us to spend time with them, and we’d gladly do it again. Author: Mimi Greenberg, Origami Mommy