Today was Relay for life in our local town. I got a letter a few months ago declaring it was coming up and to gear up the local American Cancer Society was hosting a dinner for Survivors.
I didnt want to go but a fellow radiation van rider asked me if I was going to the dinner as she was going so I forced myself to go. She never showed up but my son went with me as a support.
It was a really lovely evening with raffle prizes, a nice pasta dinner and they did a wonderful job on decorations and so many volunteers and helpers and donations that you just felt really overwhelmed with gratitude and hope.
Which is the purpose.
Then today was the Big Day. Relay for Life. Started by a man who walked around a race track like at a track meet to raise money that other folks pledged to him if he walked this track 24 hours. He donated all the money to cancer research. That is what started it and now its swept the nation and there are teams of people that go and collect donations and then walk the track. They set up booths and donate baked goods and homemade craft items and donate that money too, its all so generous and wonderful of so many people.
Before the teams begin their walk, they have first a Survivors walk and then a Caregivers walk. They give all the survivors a purple t shirt and we walk once around the track. On the next walk around, our caregivers join us and we make one more round of the track. All the while folks are cheering and clapping and calling out encourageing words. My son walked the Caregiver lap with me, he gave me such a warm and really wonderful heartfelt hug when it was over, one of those hugs you will never forget.
It was one of those really tight squeezes that last an extra moment and in that hug was all that he meant and all the words he couldnt say at that moment. I could feel his love and encouragement and how proud he was of me. He quick pecked me on the cheek and in the moment it was over and he went scampering off to go meet up with his friends to go pick up their prom tickets. I was so happy for that typical momemt. It means life is good, normal and all is healthy and on track.
They had a special breakfast for survivors. Local restaraunts all donate food and that was a nice treat and they give everyone raffle tickets and during breakfast they raffle off gifts. Gift baskets, homemade pillows, inspirational books. I really want to put together some baskets for next time, they were so fun. I didnt win anything but my seatmate next to me did and she gave me a book out of her basket, its called Chicken Soup for the Mother with inspirational stories in it.
The energy was good, the whole thing was uplifting.
It just filled me with an amazing boost of energy, of hope and of such gratefulness.
It was a glorious day.