Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stomp out Cancer

Fifteen years ago on June 18, my sister and best friend passed away from cancer. People will say that someone lost their battle with cancer. But I don’t see it that way at all. My sister lost her hair, she lost a lot of weight, she lost living 50 more years on this earth with the rest of us, but she never lost the battle. Never. She never gave in to cancer and she never gave up to cancer. After waging war for seven years, it was just her time, and God called her home.

The following year, I started a team for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  Team PALM (for Patricia Ann Loehmer Memorial). I know, ingenious of me wasn’t it? But I’ve blogged about that before.

Yesterday was the Relay for Life here in town. I haven’t been formally involved in the Relay for years, but the hubby and I have continued to faithfully show up and walk a few laps, buy a few raffle tickets, write a few luminaria bags. A month ago, the woman who heads up Kinship asked for volunteers for the Relay and I said I could put in a couple hours helping out wherever they needed me. Which turned into eleven hours, but that’s what happens when you don’t wear a watch.

I ended up in charge of the luminaries. If you are not familiar with what that is all about, for five dollars people will purchase a white bag on which they can write a message in memory of or in honor of a loved one. A candle is placed in each bag and at dark the candles are lit and all the participants walk around reading the bags and it is very touching. Or that’s how it’s supposed to work.

It had been hot and humid all day, but luckily a wind blowing kept things comfortable. There was a chance of thunder showers in the evening, so we kept watching the sky, wondering if and when it was safe to put out the luminaria bags.

We finally said the heck with it and set out all the bags on a path along the river. As darkness began to settle, we settled into lighting the candles in each bag. And the wind continued to blow. After a dozen or more bags caught on fire, we gave up, extinguishing the candles we had already lite.

Was it a failure? Let my pictures of the day answer for you.
 Some times cancer seems like a long tunnel and you don't know if you will get to the other end.
 But with help from family and friends, you can come out on the other side. 
 You may feel like your wings are damaged and you can't fly straight -
 Or that life is out of balance - 
 Or that you don't know what to say - 
 Or you are just plain too tired to finish the job - 
 but a smile always helps.
 You may also feel like it is all an uphill battle - 
 but sometimes the sun comes out and it all looks better from a different perspective. 
 You may feel like your heart is ripped in half - 
 Or that part of you is completely missing.
 Then things can seem completely out of control and what do you do? 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great picture show and narration!