Friday, August 1

Relay For Life

We just got back from our local Relay for Life yearly event. Last year was the first year I had ever attended one. Even though my own son is a cancer survivor (twice over and for five years on July 23!!!) and I have lost a most precious nephew to cancer (three years ago this month), I haven't felt the need to participate in a Relay for Life Event before. Cancer still scares the living daylights out of me and if I could ban the word from my home, I would. However, my boss and the owner of the company I work for is also a two time cancer survivor and felt it would be good for our workforce to get a team together for the Relay for Life. Naturally since I am the only graphics and digital person for the company AND my son has been affected by cancer, most people thought I would be a shoo in for the team. I went reluctantly and with little enthusiasm because even though I don't show it or talk about it often, cancer is my worst enemy in life and my greatest fear. I have issues talking about Spencer's early childhood without my eyes welling up in tears and my throat catching. I break out in a sweat and feel faint. It's better for my physical and mental health if I shelter my vivid memories from surfacing whenever possible.

I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and how GOOD and REWARDING Relay for Life is. No one expects me to talk about Spencer's cancer. We are all there, heart and soul, for one reason. We have been touched by cancer and want to help make a difference. How humbling it is to watch the survivor's lap and see the young and the old walking side by side, through various moments in their cancer fight. Be it survivor, relapse or progressive cancer, each and all of them have had cancer or have it now and the pride on their faces and the straightness of their shoulders as they take that walk together, could move mountains. Spencer is probably the youngest at five making the lap and while this doesn't escape me for one moment, instead of intimidation and faintness, I feel pride and satisfaction that he is beside me. The best part, again no one expects me to talk about it or relive it in detail.

Most of our team - Sofa Loafers (hey, I work for a furniture manufacturer; it fits!)
Bill, our President and owner, two time cancer survivor. Our theme, St. Patrick's Day.

The yellow shirted walkers are Hippies with Hope. How creative!

My hero, trying to pick a fight with a leprechaun!

Typical Spencer expression when we ask him to stop for a picture.

This takes place at our Junior High track. This is about one third of the field.

My beautiful and spunky coworker, Kris, snuggling with the Culver's cone.

Bill and another coworker, our mascot, the Cardinal.

Many of the team members spend the night on the track so they bring entertainment, a tent, a grill etc. My coworker Paul and I played this neat beanie game. He made it himself.

I posted this for my sister because of an inside joke about flamingos. One sites theme.

At our site. Pam, myself, Sandy (our financial advisor) and Carolyn (warehouse/inventory).

Special thanks to John who not only walked the many laps around the track with us (he does not enjoy walking) but took over 150 pictures for our team tonight!


Brandy said...

How awesome! My father passed away from cancer in 2001 at age 51. The following summer, my mom put together a relay for life team. She said it was very rewarding and felt like she was doing something to honor my dad.

Great job girl!!

Razor Family Farms said...

I love Relay for Life! I walked in one this spring and LOVED it! The atmosphere is so powerful, upbeat, and loving. I walked and helped at our baked goods stand (run by our church volunteers).

I love the pictures you took!

BTW, you can comment on Josh's tattoos and muscles any time! I love them,too! :)


Tanya said...

Relay For Life is awesome. I'm so proud of Spencer, being the youngest and bravest survivor. He is a true hero.

Love the flamingos...that's a lot of them!

Sheri said...

Brandy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. (((HUGS)))

Lacy, upbeat is a perfect word to describe Relay for Life.

I thought of you right away, Tanya, when they put out all those flamingos!