We do the Relay for Life walk tomorrow. It’s something like a carnival, from what I hear – lots of food, booths, crafts, and all kinds of things for sale. Our little group will be selling chili and chips, and also yard sale items donated by people at work. Fill up a Food Lion bag with whatever you can squeeze in there for only $5!! Chili, chips, a drink, and a brownie for $4!! Not a bad deal.
I’ve got a few names of folks that I will be walking for tomorrow. I thought I’d share a little about them today, as a further tribute I suppose. I won’t try to be poetic and dramatic about cancer and what it does to so many people in this world. You all have your own lists of people, I know. These are mine. Tomorrow night, I’ll walk/buy/sell in honor/memory/prayer for these folks:
1. Joe C. Brain tumor. He was my classmate, and he passed away in February of 2005, at the age of 25. This kid was a cornball, an absolute ham. He is missed by many.
2. Mary Beth V. Acute myelocytic leukemia. She was my cousin, and she died in 1996, at the age of 7. Ready for a tear jerker? Ok, so the family priest is with her and the family, ministering during the last few days. Mar asks him what it’s like to die, and is it scary? He tenderly tells her, No baby, you just go to sleep and you don’t wake up, it’s not scary at all. So Mary Beth stopped sleeping. She stayed awake for 3 days straight, and whenever she drifted off she’d wake with a screaming start. Finally, exhausted, she slept, and died. The thought of her fear and the priest’s unfortunate but well-meaning advice always leaves a lump in my throat.
3. Sarai B. Breast Cancer. A happier story – this woman is still fighting her breast cancer, but winning the battle soundly. Everything is shrinking, everything is responding swimmingly to treatment, and she is feeling so good, she’s having us over for dinner sometime this month to celebrate.
4. Florence T. Ovarian Cancer. My maternal grandmother, she died before I was born. It’s strange to think, going through my pregnancy, relying on my mother for support, that she never had a mom to help her through any of her 5 pregnancies. I’m lucky it hasn’t struck my mom, or anyone else I know, KNOCK ON WOOD OH DEAR GOD DON"T LET ME JINX MYSELF HERE.
5. Susan F. C. Breast Cancer. Call me weird, but this is a woman I do not know. However, her husband is a cyclist and blogger who also raises money for cancer, and on the rare occasions when he shares their struggle to overcome breast cancer with his readers, he never fails to tug the heartstrings. www.fatcyclist.com is his site. It’s hard not to pull for this family, so she’s on my list.
6. Lori L., Angie W., Susan W., Kirsten R. Breast Cancer, Lymphoma, Bowel Cancer, and Breast Cancer respectively. The wives of some of my guys here at work, we’re all praying for all 4 of them. Response to treatments are going well for these three. Let’s hope the little bit of cash we’ve raised helps improve treatments for the future, so the next wave of employees/spouses (oh, there’ll undoubtedly be more) have an even better chance.
Oh, there’s more, but if we all listed every single person we know who has suffered from cancer, we could all fill pages and pages. I’m so fortunate that this short list does not include my spouse . . . my sibling . . . my parent . . . my in-laws . . . my best friend. This isn’t me challenging the gods to visit me with tragedy. This is me saying a prayer of thanks that my life as yet has only been tangientially affected by the vicious disease known as The Big C. I hope it ever stays that way, and the same to you. Thanks again, for everyone who helped out with donations. I’ll post some pictures and an update after the weekend is over.