I hadn't been able to dedicate the time and energy to it that it rightfully deserved, and anything less than my best effort wouldn't be good enough. Life got very complicated this year, and I know that no one would understand that more than my father.
I wasn't planning on going at all, until my husband mentioned that he wanted to go, just for a little bit.
Though our team has been named for and walks primarily in memory of my father, my husband has been a cancer survivor for over a decade now.
It wasn't until the first Relay we went to, three years ago now, that I really started to think about him that way.
Cancer changed his life, it changed mine. Those few words spoken by a doctor in an office all those years ago would do more to alter the course of our lives than anything else ever would.
And that is the thing about cancer. Once it's been a part of your life, it is forever.
For the last two years, we rallied our team. Tom walked as a survivor and a supporter. I walked as a caregiver and team captain. The first year, in support of my father, still fighting this disease. The second, last year, in his memory. It was so much harder to step foot on that track last year, but I did it because I knew I had to.
Then, this year happened.
I have learned a lot about myself and about other people this year, and I've learned, often the hard way, that I can't do it all. I couldn't lead a team this year. I just couldn't.
The kids wanted to go, Tom wanted to go. I was reluctant.
I didn't even decide to go until about 30 minutes before we left.
I walked onto the field this time feeling a bit like I let everyone down, including myself. There was no tent to set up, no gigantic team assembled, no money raised.
Then, I remembered the other reason I was there. For him, my husband.
|Purple is an amazing color.|
This time was just for us.
We purchased some luminarias for Tom, for Dad, for the little boy here that shouldn't know what cancer is.
Then we left.
Walking onto the field this time was hard, but walking away was harder.