So much of the past and next few weeks were and will be focused on family and friends. Last month was my bridal shower and bachelorette party.
This month was my little nephew’s first birthday and a much-needed visit with my parents.
And last but not least, our wedding is in a mere 19 days. The time leading up to it has been filled to the brim with thoughts about our friends and family: how many will be there, what will make them comfortable, from whom we will need help, with whom we can’t wait to celebrate. So much good, happy gathering is coming up. So much work is going into making sure we accommodate everybody’s needs and squeeze as much as we possibly can from the weekend. And things will just be getting busier from here.
This Friday night I will be participating for a second year on my company’s team in a local Relay for Life event. Last year I joined on a whim just to be a good sport and hang out with my coworkers. This will be my first year participating in honor of my mom, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 months ago. For those unfamiliar with the event, Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society which in turn supports cancer research and patient outreach programs. Teams have members walking or running all through the night to symbolize the unending fight against cancer and hope for a cure.
When I walked last year, I didn’t have any idea how close to home this year’s Relay would hit. Since my mom’s been diagnosed, I’ve been offered so many stories of strong, brave individuals who have been through treatment and come out cancer-free. Such stories and demonstrations of support really, truly help when you are in the thick of things. They provide hope and threads of community and compassion that mean a whole heck of a lot. I’ve also heard many heartbreaking stories of those who lost their struggles with cancer. Such stories give a sense of perspective and remind you to appreciate the NOW and to try to ignore all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘next steps’ and the interminable waiting and the not knowing. Oh, that not knowing is such a bitch.
I’d be incredibly grateful if you had a little extra money lying around and were willing to donate it towards my fundraising goal. Be sure to let me know in a comment or an email (alicia at woolendiversions dot com) that you’ve donated, as I’d like to offer one of my lotion bars as a little ‘karmic balancing gift’ (a la the Yarn Harlot) to a randomly-chosen donator after Friday’s event.
Go hug your moms, your dads, anyone in your family– with or without cancer– and just be grateful for them. In the meantime, I’ll be walking.