This past Friday night was our Relay for Life Walk. This was the first time that Don and I and the kids went. Just typing this brings out tearful emotions. Survivors of cancer sported purple T-Shirts and were honored with a 'Survivor's Lap' around the track. The 2d lap was dedicated to all the family and caregivers. We all participated by walking with friends from church who have survived colon cancer and prostate cancer, a neighbor who's survived breast cancer, and I met up with a survivor who was walking alone. We hugged around the entire lap and shared tears of sorrow and tears of hope. When the sun finally went down and all became dark the luminaries were lit up. By then the volunteers had input all the names of those who have passed on and these names scrolled across a big screen. That really grabs at your heart, as does the Walk of Remembrance.
Our church sponsored a booth this year, as they've done in years past. And when we flip thru the pages of the pictorial directory, there isn't one family that isn't left untouched by cancer in some form or other. Our Leader, Jeff, got to present the speech this year and one fact really shook me. He said that this year alone 12 million ppl will be diagnosed (Dx) w/ cancer and that 360,000 will no longer be amongst us next year for the walk. These will be the names in the luminaries burning bright into the dark night.
This year during the moment of silence, the space station flew overhead and it was just so appropriate for us (our group) to be looking up. Many other groups started taking pix of us, it must have been a Kodak moment having 50 ppl looking up into the heavens during this time. But, it was just so perfect. Many groups quietly let their balloons go.
Even though the occasion was very heavy, there was still so much hope and joy to fill the atmosphere. There were jumpies for the kids. (Kellar was barefoot and did this jumpy obstacle course that the National Guard set up... he was constant for 4 hours running thru this and sliding down the slide and flying across the asphalt. Poor kid, by the end of the night he had blisters covering the bottoms of his feet, crying the whole way home.) Don and walked for a while and we'd jump in with friends here and there. I tell ya, living in small town communities has many advantages. Everyone is a friend - everyone will stop their life just to talk to you. There were hula hoop contests, and both my girls were winners! They did an over 30 group, that I participated in... needless to say it came down to 2 of us... yours truly, and some other lady. So, they asked us to do the Mac-a-ran-ah (sp???) Well, I did, and the other lady didn't. I lost... but really - I was the better hoooper! ; )
I'm going to put a boat load of pix... I hope the ambiance of the evening shows through.