Today we leave for San Diego to begin our three day, sixty mile journey in an effort to help eradicate breast cancer and all other forms of cancer.
As I've strung the each beads onto the necklaces that bear the names of both cancer victims and survivors alike, thoughts have popped in to say hello and ask for consideration and musing.
I personally know or knew some of these individuals. Others are names given to me by close friends and family. And some are people I never knew, sent to me by people that I have never met. Who are they? Who were they? How did cancer influence their lives? Who lost a parent or a sibling or a son or a daughter or a grandparent or a cousin or a friend?
Coming from all walks of life and all levels of life experience, these people all share one common, always painful and often tragic bond.
I rarely cry. Before last night, I don't recall when the last time was that I really, really cried. Watching the season finale of The Big C punched me in the gut and dredged up old feelings of loss and grief. A teenage boy learns that his mother has terminal cancer, but unable to deal with is own feelings, he stifles his emotions and attempts to distract himself with other things, primarily his social life. Looking in his mother's purse for money, he finds a key to a storage unit with his name on it. Curious, he finds the storage unit and opens it up. His mother had filled it up with beautifully wrapped gifts, one for each of his birthdays and Christmases and graduations that she knew she would never see. The realization that his mother was going to die finally hit him. And she sat down amongst the gifts, and sobbed.
I sobbed right along with him, remembering my little brothers and the loss and devastation that they experienced when our mother died, and how they, too, seemed to distract themselves with other things while she was sick, and after.
I'm not fully certain how they finally dealt with their emotions. Perhaps they didn't. Maybe they still are. But the death of a parent at an early age causes a ripple effect that extends into future, both near and far.
I will be back in four days with a full report. Thank you again for your love, support, and words of encouragement as I have prepared physically, financially, and emotionally for this event.