Friday, June 25, 2010

Walking for Others

The sounds emerge ever so softly like gentle music to my ears. They begin even before the first rays of light announcing dawn. I love the peacefulness which comes at about 4:00 a.m. The time is always the time when I am tired from walking all night. Sore blisters are growing in my sneakers and this year my back hurt from an injury and my legs ached. I wanted to say, "Okay, I made my point and I don't need to walk anymore for cancer." Yet, the birds serenade me with their predawn chorus and at that moment my energy is renewed.

I am speaking about Relay for Life. This year, my walk began at 6:30 pm the evening before with the survivor walk and this year at 4:00 am I have walked about ten slow miles. I have walked past the luminaries lit for family, friends and strangers all who lost their fight to cancer or who are battling cancer (a term I hate). This is my commitment to fighting back. It is for HOPE for a CURE.

This year is special. Our family team dedicated our walk to my sister, Becky, who left us in 2003. We were Becky's Forget-ME-Nots. Little purple/blue flowers that symbolize hope, remembrance and are the colors of Relay. This year I walked with one of six survivor medals that Becky wore when she walked.

The luminaries burn all night and remind me as I walk the reason I am here. Both of my daughters and my stepfather walk all night long. This year we included my nine month old grandson who joined us in his stroller. We walked with him all night long. Perhaps, by the time he reaches young adulthood, there will not be a need for relays. Hope will have become a cure. Until that time, I will be here each year.

This blog is written in memory and honor of Mom, Bob, Becky, Nannie, Bampi, Deb, Maureen, Cindy, Janise, Jessica, Alan, Diana and many, many others.


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