All month, the contributors here at From the Sidelines have gone Pink, and it looks like its up to me to close out Breast Cancer Awareness Month with my own pink post...
Like many of the other chicks here, I have been touched by this terrible plague and will be forever changed because of it.
My Husband's Mom died of breast cancer almost 9 years ago, 4 months before our wedding. Her last words to me were "Take care of him."
So every October, when Wilzie drags me out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning to volunteer at the Run for the Cure, I don't complain. I smile at him as I make sure he has his gloves and we head out to join the thousands of other people who show up in the city square to feel like they are making a difference.
The Run for the Cure is an amazing fundraising event - everywhere you look, there are people that just want to do something. To empower themselves against a disease that seems unbeatable.
They wear costumes and wigs and uniforms - all in pink to show their support to those who are fighting, and they display their tattoos in memory of those they have lost.
There is such a feeling of camaraderie among the crowd of people. Everyone milling around and chatting - the positive energy making up for the negative temperatures.
Wilzie likes to volunteer position of choice is right in the middle of the action - at the information booth. He likes to be a part of the crowd, to see the crazy team names and chat with the participants.
He knows why they run.
He knows too well.
All the runners wear bibs that announce "I'm running for..." and they each get a chance to fill in that blank:
"...Linda, Iveigh, and Rita"
"...a future without breast cancer"
"...all the boobies"
I enjoy being in the middle of the action too, but I prefer to work at the finish line. Handing out water and congratulations to everyone that passes underneath that banner.
When I see a woman wearing a pink t-shirt (which signifies a breast cancer survivor), her hair not yet grown back, cross the finish line my heart swells and my eyes fill with tears. Her family and friends there to help her and cheer her and hug her. Their pride in their mother/sister/friend showing in their smiles and their tears as they marvel at her strength.
Every year, once the run is over and crowd thins out, I say a prayer and hope that we made a difference.
I hope that next year there are more strong women crossing that finish line and less of them that have to leave their sons for someone else to take care of.