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Monday, April 27, 2009

Relay For Life

I just wanted to share my experience with my first ever American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

I participated in this event in memory of my mother Rose who passed away July 9, 2003 from brain cancer. Also for the people in my life who have had cancer and has won the fight. My aunt and God-mother, Angie, my best friend, Florence, my cousin Martina and my aunt Aurora.

The night started off with a lot of excitement and energy and wind. We had to tape everything down that weigh less than 50lbs. But the winds did not stop what was going to happen that evening. As a matter of fact I think that the winds only effected the fact that we couldn't light the luminaries at the time they were suppose to be lit which was around 8:30 pm; but they went on with the ceremony non the less.
As the evening went on, we, The Daughters of the King (Plus), walked and talked and sold bead bracelets and everyone that made a complete lap got a free bead of their choice. We also sold popcorn, water and cheesy fries. We could not believe how blessed we were to have such a prim spot on the track right in front of the Beecher where the luminaries were to be lit.

At 7pm the Relay was kicked off with all the survivors walking the first lap. What a sight that was, it brought tears of joy to my eyes. Then the Relay was off and walking (and some running). The walkers continued all night long no matter how much or how hard the winds blew.

They tried to light the luminaries later on but the winds prevailed. But HOPE was not lost because we just knew that we would get to light those luminaries before the morning sun and we did.

At just after 2 a.m. Pastor Jason, his son and I started lighting the luminaries because the wind had stopped blowing. Then we had several other people come help in the lighting and a good thing too because the winds started blowing just a little. We were able to keep them lit for about two or three songs, then the winds picked up and people had to go up to blow out the candles before all the bags caught fire. We had already lost some bag earlier in the evening when they tried to light them with the winds.

What a sight to see all the lights in the field out with only the luminaries flickering with a candle light. Someone said that cancer is like the lit candle, sometimes it just gets a little too close and snuffs out a life and other times we are able to keep out light flickering and grow stronger and stronger.

After all the luminaries were put out, the walk continued. The mood was somber but uplifting. Some folks chose to pack it in and go home while other decided to stick it out to the end.

By 5 a.m. there was a sign in the sky that the new day had come. The sun was coming up in the sky and what a sight that was to see. I'm so thankful I was there to see it.

We had breakfast at 6:30 a.m. then we went home for much needed sleep.

The even was an experience that will live with me forever. I will make every efford to do this again next year because I want to see cancer put to it's death. Amen.

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