Thursday, October 22, 2009

I want to take a short break from writing about our cruising adventures to tell you the story of another 'adventure.' This one involves my sister Kathy who has been battling ovarian cancer for the past several years. I don't get a chance to take my hat off to her very often but I thought this might be a good time to do it.

A few weeks ago, she invited Kim and me to join her and her husband Robby on a 'cancer walk'. It was a fund raiser for research efforts to find a cure for this awful disease.

I had never been to one of these walks. I will tell you that there seems to be a lot of 'walks' nowadays and I wasn't sure what to expect. My first reaction to this was that is was just another fund raiser... which was great but what I found was that it was much more than that. What I was expecting was a solemn procession of friends, family and supporters out for an important cause. The cold and rain of that morning certainly reinforced that mindset.

What I found was totally the opposite of what I had expected. What this was in reality was a
celebration. It was a celebration for life and perserverance, for hope and support and for love and compassion. The sight of all of the survivors gathered around by their family and friends was truly inspiring.

There were lots of tents and food. There were little speeches given and recognition to those who were fighting the battle. (Kathy got the honor of being one of those who had been fighting the longest... 24 years, and let me tell you that it has been a fight.) They had lots of giveaways and raffles. There was a silent auction and even a local celebrity showed up. Of course there were the T-shirts and 'the ribbon'. But, what I discovered was that all the fru-fru was just background noise. The real event was being with your loved one and acknowledging their struggle in an outward and public way. That was what the day was about.

So, at the appointed time we took off on our way around the three mile course. It was really neat seeing all of the people out for the walk. Kids, dogs, bikers and wagons peppered the trail as we made our way around Lunken Airport. It was great.

As we neared the end of the walk, I noticed that the clouds had begun breaking up and that the sun was beginning to shine. A more prophetic sign I cannot think of.