About a year ago I attended my first Relay For Life. I went because I needed to. It was a very moving, emotionally rewarding and enlightening experience. A couple days ago I went to my second. This time I went because I wanted to. My respect and admiration for all those volunteers reached new heights, the weather was a little crappy this year but spirits remained very high. My only contribution was a monetary donation.
Through the efforts of volunteers like these, scattered across this great land, I think someday and maybe someday soon we will see a cure for this devastating disease.
Last year I stayed for six or seven hours, this year I was only there for maybe an hour and a half. The weather was not a factor in my early departure; It was just time to go.
I think the difference is; last year I was still very much an emotional “basket case” and the recent cancer experience occupied most of my thoughts. Sharyl and I had forty something very good years and a little more than three extremely tough years. I have spent the past year trying to allow the memories of the good years to suppress the memories of those last three years. I don’t want those memories to ever go away, because it was special time we had together, but I prefer to concentrate on the good times.
During the opening ceremony I started to relive the bad times. Suddenly it was December ’08 again and we were facing the daily challenges of radiation, chemo, scans, pain and side effects. Then we would start the cycle all over again. During the survivors lap I was happy for all those participating and would not have wanted Sharyl to replace anyone but I somehow felt we were cheated because she couldn’t join them.
I pointed the old Chrysler east on I 40, looked at some white line, regained my composure and will be OK. I know there will always be reminders and there will be good days and bad days but I see no reason to intentionally put myself in those situations.
I love you guys and I love what you do but next year, I know you have heard it before; my check will be in the mail.
Thanks for being there and for listening. I have a lighthearted one spinning around if it is one of those nights when sleep won’t come it may make it to that side of the keyboard tonight.
I know I don’t need to say it but please keep me in your prayers.
Good Night (I think) and God Bless.