I should be preparing for a huge event tonight.
I should be making posters and fairy wands and packing up the car with all the camping gear. I should be gathering donations and working my ass off to hit the fundraising goal. I should be walking around in circles for as long as it takes.
I should be holding my husband's hand on a survivor lap, I should be standing in the middle of the field while my father's picture and name flashes on a giant screen in the dark. I should be quiet and reflective. I should be crying. I should be angry and bitter at this horrible disease that stole his life, and that has changed mine too many times.
I should be.
Tonight is the Relay for Life.
Our team, the Tooth Fairies, named in his honor. If you haven't heard the story of why we are named that, you should read it.
I should be out there.
I won't be.
I wasn't last year the way I should have been either. Last year was too hard. There was too much else going on outside my control and I couldn't do it.
The year before that, I cried and cried and cried in that field when his picture flashed on the screen for the first time as an in memory of instead of an in support of.
The year before that, we had hope even though it was slipping away a little bit more with every scan.
I should be out there, but I won't be.
My fundraising energies are going to be directed elsewhere this year, to the Light the Night walk in September, our team to be named in support of a little boy fighting leukemia, a little boy that I was there to meet the day he was born. My energies will go to the lung cancer walk in October, where money raised will go directly to research to help increase survivorship for this specific form of cancer.
My energies will go elsewhere this year because I won't be here for the Relay.
And my father would be proud of me, not because of where I won't be, but because of where I will be.
I will be somewhere in downtown Denver, doing something crazy I don't know about yet, with my husband. The husband who planned this surprise anniversary staycation, not realizing it was the same weekend as the Relay. The husband that I need this time with.
Rebuilding my marriage is more important right now, and no one would understand that more than my father, the original Tooth Fairy.
He would tell me to pack my suitcase instead of the camping gear. He would tell me to go to Denver instead of the Relay. He would tell me to hang on to what I still have instead of missing what is gone.
He would tell me that even if I feel like I should be at the Relay, I shouldn't.
I should be where my heart tells me to go.
And my heart pushes me towards this.
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