Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Seeing Purple

And for the first time EVER, it looked good.

Last Friday we participated in the Relay for Life.  We were there first and foremost to honor the survivor in our family, immediately followed by the survivors in other peoples' families, friends we know who are survivors and the memory of those who were unable to be there.  It was a sea of bright colored shirts representing team captains, team members, event staff and then the purple shirts indicated the SURVIVORS. 

When Paul put that shirt on, I almost lost it.  He became just one story in a sea of purple; he had joined an exclusive club: Survivors Only.  It took me back to (almost) a year ago when it felt as if the life we were creating was coming unglued.  I was five months pregnant and my husband was diagnosed with CANCER.  I don't wish that on anyone.

But the more I looked around, the more I realized we had joined the lucky ones when Paul became a member of that exclusive club; not everyone gets in.  The battle never ends, but he's here today and we're SO fortunate for that.  I felt proud as his wife, I felt proud as we carried our child around that track (yes, we went all the way back to my parents house to get the stroller I forgot, only for Lucy to decide that half-way through LAP ONE she wasn't having it...), I felt proud to be walking with my mother-in-law who helps sick people everyday; I was proud of our family and our story.  One of millions.    

It was overwhelming to see people we have encountered in life without knowing their whole story.  My third grade teacher was there - as a survivor, my grade school friend's dad was there - as a survivor, a friend's sister-in-law was there - as a survivor.  There were people I knew who were walking for someone they had lost and although it could have been terribly depressing, the overpowering feeling that night on the track was HOPE.  Hope for a cure, hope for continued health, hope for a world where Lucy might not have to ever know someone who lost their battle.  Here's to a world full of purple shirts. 

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