Share Their Stories: Marissa and Therese

What Rise taught sisters Marissa and Terry


Even when we think we know everything there is to know about our closest loved ones, there is always more to learn than we think. Sharing with trust and an open heart can lead to the most fulfilling conversations and deepest bonds between us. Learn how the Weekend Getaway provided the perfect space for sisters Marissa and Therese to become even closer.

What was your Rise experience like for you and your sister?

Marissa: The Rise experience for us was so eye opening and lots of fun. We attended some workshops together and some on our own. We both got pretty far outside our comfort zones. We laughed a ton together which is not unusual at all but we also got to see a different side of each other - things we don’t usually talk about that gave us a deeper relationship and appreciation for each other’s lives.

Terry: My sister Marissa called me after her first Rise Weekend Getaway which she attended alone, to tell me how inspiring, energizing and wonderful it was. She said, "Me, you, and mom should all go next year!" She brought me the following year as a birthday gift. I flew from Florida to Atlantic City and we drove three hours from Ship Bottom NJ to Pennsylvania. We really really wanted to be there. It was a real pleasure and treat to be able to spend so much time alone together. The accommodations were very clean and comfortable the site was beautiful. It was a weekend full of shared emotions, experiences and energy. The facilitators were very diverse and interesting and the food was plentiful and delicious.

What did you learn about your relationship and take away from Rise?

Marissa: What I took away from Rise is that it’s good to bring different topics and circumstances into any relationship because if you both do it with trust and an open heart it can only make a great relationship even better. 

Terry: My sister Marissa is my best friend, I thought I knew everything about her. I learned over the weekend getaway that I don't. I always tell people "if Marissa wasn't my sister she'd be my friend because she is one of the kindest people I know." I like my sister and I love her. She's a very strong person. I know she's also vulnerable but spending time in a different environment like Rise Gatherings you start to take your life experiences to a deeper level and share things with each other that may never come up or show themselves. Those are the conversations we shared with laughter and tears. 

Marissa, why did you want to bring your sister after attending yourself? What was different about those experiences?

I wanted to bring my sister because I knew she would love it. There were so many open women and so many topics that spoke to many of the conversations she and I have had about sex, love, scheduling yourself AND so many interesting women there to connect with. The first year I attended the Weekend Getaway by myself and I got so much out of that solitary time that we booked separate rooms. It’s hard for me to not put my little sister first all the time. She was great about sending me to my room to think about what I learned. One of the things I love about Rise is you can walk up and join any group or you can spend time with yourself. Everyone is super friendly but you do not have to try to fit in with anyone. Groups form around different activities and everyone comes with an open heart. The conversations are all real and meaningful AND you can still rotate to another activity, be welcomed there then break off to do something on your own. It’s wonderful to have two and a half days to put yourself first. 

Terry, what were you expecting from Rise after hearing about it from Marissa?

I was expecting to have a really great weekend. I was surprised by how well organized and run everything was. I was really surprised by how many women were there and their willingness to participate in classes and share so openly!