Friday, May 25, 2007

Relay for my mama

I'm working on our special Relay for Life section that we put out every year. Apparently, our own relay began just one year after the first relay ever, which was in Tacoma. Each year, our relay makes more money per capital than any other city our size. My editor told me its about twice as much per capita. I guess that can be somewhat expected, because our cancer rates are also much higher than other counties in Washington.

Part of me feels like I should get more involved in things like this, like I owe it to G-d and to the world to give something back, since my own life turned out to be so blessed. I can close my eyes and see my mom and I walking arm in arm down the track for the survivors lap. People would cheer for her. I would too. She is so strong.

But whatever part of her it is that makes her strong, also makes her private. She doesn't like people to know she is a survivor. She doesn't participate in fundraisers or in any type of cancer-themed event. She won't go out of the house without her prosthesis on, even just to get the mail. She is very proud, and doesn't care for anyone to know where she is weak. So because of this desire for privacy, I do not participate in awareness-raising events. She would not like it if everyone in our county knew she'd had breast cancer. The most I do is save the little pink lids that come on the Yoplait containers. And even that I haven't done this year, since we've started feeding yogurt to Benjamin, we just get the Safeway brand in the giant tubs.

Sometimes I find myself forgetting the details of all that she went through, and how scared I was. My mom is my rock, and I don't know what I would ever do without her.

I'm supposed to be designing a photo page with last year's photos from the relay. Right now, I'm at the point where I'm opening each photo and editing the cutline to say "at last year's Relay for Life" instead of "Friday night at the Relay for Life." It also gives me a chance to take a mental overview of all the photos that are available and start designing the page in my mind. I have to select a little less than half of them to use on this page. The rest will be put elsewhere in the section. This would be going much better right now if i wasn't tearing up a little more with each and every photo I looked at. They are very well done. Candles, memorial walls, little kids having fun, speakers, 24-hour walkers (I couldn't believe how many people do this!) and of course, the survivors' lap.

My beautiful mother deserves a little applause. Maybe she'll never stand up at the stadium, but at least her story can be told.

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