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Relay For Life, and the coolest old guy I’ve ever seen.

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Saturday, after an insanely boring very important visit to the ER with Goo, for what turned out to be nothing (thank God), we got to participate in a local Relay For Life event. While the American Cancer Society donates very little to childhood cancer research, we still think it’s a wonderful organization, striving to help millions of adults beat the odds, and honoring those who have done so.

Plus, there were cupcakes.

A family from our church was volunteering at the event, and the oldest daughter was walking with her friends on a team that raised money to support cancer research. They are an AMAZING family. I tutored their son a couple of times, and let me just say, he’s what every parent hopes their daughter brings home to meet the parents. Anyway.

We also had the pleasure of meeting up with two very dear friends of ours, one of whom is currently beating colon cancer. Goo once got to have a heart to heart with her about what it’s like to have a port put in, and that it doesn’t hurt because they give you sleepy medicine for the operation. I cried. I do that a lot lately.

Speaking of which, holy tissue fest, Batman! If you ever attend a RFL event, bring tissues. Lots and lots of tissues. I cried during the ceremonial speech – a young teenage girl who recently beat osteoblastoma, and lost her leg in the process, shared her story. She walked at RFL like a boss rocking her prosthesis and inspiring hundreds. I also cried when the other girl sang a song about standing together, one she had written for her dad when he was battling cancer.

Are you crying yet?

The real kicker was the survivor walk, a lap dedicated to the survivors and current warriors in this epic battle to send cancer back to the hell from whence it came. (Didn’t I sound super fancy and old English just then?) I carried Goo through the walk.

Then came the caregiver walk – a lap dedicated to those who have helped the heroes in their fight. I continued to carry Goo, and “I Need You” by Leann Rimes played in the background. These are the lyrics:

I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven’s gate

There’s a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you

You’re the hope that moves me
To courage again
You’re the love that rescues me
When the cold winds, rage

And it’s so amazing
‘Cause that’s just how you are
And I can’t turn back now
‘Cause you’ve brought me too far

I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven’s gate

There’s a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you
Oh yes I do

This was playing as I literally carried Goo through the last stretch of our walk. I full-on ugly cried. And I start crying again every time I think about that walk. Dang it, Leann Rimes.

But just as I was certain my mascara would start jumping ship, I saw the coolest white-haired guy I’ve ever seen.

2013-05-20 21.23.38

His shirt says, “I survived Hitler, Stalin, and Cancer (x3).”

High five, guy in front of me. You win the world.


About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

2 responses »

  1. I would have had to give that old guy a hug. Amazing.

    I did Relay For Life here in Canada a few years ago. (Nova Scotia is VERY cold at 2am in early June). I have no one in my family who has cancer, and no family member that we lost because of cancer. I don’t know anyone in real life who has cancer. I had no one to buy a luminary for. So, everyone asked me why I was doing RFL. Because I feel TOO lucky. I feel like my time is running out and that any day now I’m going to get the “so-and-so has cancer” punch in the gut. I did RFL because there are just SO MANY PEOPLE dealing with it. Because patients, caregivers and even survivors need to know that even people who are unaffected and unknown CARES and wants to help.

    That Survivor Lap broke and then mended my heart with every person who filed by.

  2. I am totally ugly crying. You’re lucky I’m alone right now;) THat old guy is my hero! And Leann Rimes just might get herself off Team Home Wrecker after that one;)


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