This year’s event was probably the best-organized so far. Our team was, sadly, pitiful. We raised next to no money in support of the American Cancer Society. Head Cheese was shocked to hear that participants on this year’s team didn’t “just write checks” so our minimum fundraising goal could be met.
I wasn’t the team leader this year and so all I was charged with was showing up, trying to raise funds, and walking. It’s cool to not always be the “go-to” person and letting someone else call the shots for a change.
One great thing about living in a small community is that just about everybody knows everybody and if you don’t know someone, the person standing next to you probably does. This was the third Relay for Life event that I’ve participated in and this year’s event felt more like a family reunion than anything I’ve ever experienced.
I didn’t spend too much time on the track. I’ve been nursing blisters under callouses on my feet the past couple of weeks and didn’t want to create anymore issues.
I’m absolutely lousy at counting laps and so I couldn’t tell you exactly how far I walked. We had to “guesstimate” by the amount of time we were on the track and our average mile split. My colleague & I figured we only did about 6 miles before I passed the baton. I could feel the blisters begging to form and so I knew it was time to call it quits.
The luminaria ceremony was really nice this year. I haven’t joined the big crowd for the ceremony since the first time I participated. Everybody (and I mean everybody) gets all choked up when the names of their loved ones scroll across the screen. I stayed at our team’s campsite with several of my teammates and we watched the ceremony from there.
I had purchased luminaries on behalf of my grandma, the Writer’s mom, and Whymommy. I did not realize that their names would be included in the scroll. They were. My breath was absolutely taken away when I saw the words, “Writer’s mom” on the screen. And I cried.
I cried because at that moment, I realized the enormity of what we were doing.
I cried because cancer is such an abhorrently ugly disease.
Most of all, I cried because I didn’t get to see my grandma’s name. And I couldn’t find her luminary. And in that moment, I really, really missed her.
If your life has been affected in anyway by cancer, I hope you take a moment to make a donation to any organization that participates in cancer research.
I gladly contribute to the American Cancer Society. And I’m honored to participate in my area’s Relay for Life.
If you are not interested in helping to fund cancer research, that’s okay. I hope you find a cause that you are passionate about.