Healing Happens Here
“Nestled among the rose bushes, birdbaths, hanging baskets and greenery are dozens of ceramic angels, each with its own name and design. The angels represent babies gone too soon, and they rest here, in these spaces designed to offer peace, dignity and healing to families who have suffered a loss.” (Lake Minnetonka Magazine, October 2015) Although the article was written earlier on, it reflects a description of the Garden of the Sleeping Angels beautifully. As we seek ways to convey a description of our Mission that relays the intent, focus and passion that is the GSA, the following message written by one of our GSA mothers, Traci OCana, is a heartfelt example:
“The GSA is the only place my 5 month old daughter is represented on this earth. When she was born I had no money to bury her or to get a headstone for her. So as the years have gone by her ashes have just remained in a decorative box in my room. I have found no solace in that. When I heard of the GSA I knew I had to go see it.
I live three hours away from the GSA and finally arranged a visit. Nancy let me know that I could put my daughter’s angel memorial anywhere I felt it should go. I now have a marker for my beloved daughter and I can picture exactly where it is. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and serene. I also know my daughter is not alone there. I picture them all playing together when the wind blows through the trees on a sunny day. It’s the place that causes healing in my heart.
I’ve been back twice since this year. It makes me feel settled, and I have an amazing sense of peace knowing where my daughter’s angel is.”
This year has shown even more activity than usual. Our June plant sale (always the first weekend in June) was a great success. We’ve had a steady stream of visitors throughout the Season ~ some scheduled; many spontaneous, but always delightful and fulfilling. Our almost hour long tours are so appreciated.
We’ve made so many great additions within and around the gardens. Donations enabled us to remove several aged pine trees; donations will also enable us to purchase and plant their replacements. Most notable of visual improvements is the fulfillment of the Eagle Scout Badge for Aidan Mueller, who organized a group of Orono HS peers to work with him as he supervised the laying of almost 800 edgers around our many gardens. The result is so impressive; the commitment daunting!
~an amazing Wave of Light, with the lighting of over 190 candles on October 15; very well attended and included Say Their Name videos
~Heavenly Birthday acknowledgements and memorial services
~enhanced light display over the holiday season
~a Christmas tree inviting families’ individual ornaments, with those hung in prior years hung again yearly
~an all encompassing series of drone photos of the gardens gifted by Bill Van Brunt
We wish to extend heartfelt thanks to the people who have huge roles in realizing our vision through assistance with garden maintenance (Mona Lane and Christina Schafer, Kaitlin Klinger, Maggie Miller, Woodridge Church youth), technology assistance (Melanie Burns, who also created the lovely video shown on our website), and web site (Clay Hickman). We’re building on our solid foundation with the addition of our Advisory Board (Annette Jackson, Gail Van Brunt, Carol Herdegen, Mona Lane and Lezlie Pinske), all of whom have demonstrated extraordinary passion and belief in our vision.
So, if you have experienced a loss of an infant or child…please come! If you are a friend or family member of someone who has experienced loss…please come! If you wish to remember someone special in a peaceful, healing setting, or feel a need for renewal please come!
We’d like to remind you that as a 501c non-profit, we rely on giving of time and donations to continue to provide a meaningful experience in our peaceful setting. Your monetary donations enable us to provide all of the events and experiences.