Today I participated in a breast cancer walk. Pink is the signature color for breast cancer and my sister, niece, kids and I walked along wearing pink wigs, pink boas, and even pink eyelashes. About half-way into the walk, I began to wonder the importance of why we were there. What made me get up that morning and walk several miles and donate money? I don't even like exercise, yet here I was, walking more than I have walked in a very long time. My feet were hurting, the wig was itching, and I was getting tired. My kids were hungry and walking very slowly. Why did I put myself through this every year? Why didn't I just stay home and sleep in on a cold, Sunday morning? As I was wondering these things, I looked in front of me and saw a lady with a name tag on her backpack that read, "Walking In Honor of ME". I stopped in my tracks and realized why I was walking.
Even though I am healthy, one day I could be the one with that name tag and it made me shiver. I again looked at the lady and realized why I was there. I was walking in memory of my mom and to honor those who are still fighting. If I ever do get cancer, I hope "they" will have found a cure. I hope my financial contribution to walk helps lead to a cure and my physical contribution of being there helps draw awareness. I hope with all that I have that I don't get cancer, but if I do, I hope my contributions have made a difference and there will be people walking to honor me.
I am surprised by the impact that name tag had on me. I want a cure to be found so that she will be back next year...and the year after...and the year after that. Next year, when I get up early on a cold, Sunday morning to walk, I will think of her and look for her and I will not complain about being tired from walking or an itchy wig. I doubt I will ever see her again, but I hope she is there with that same name tag for many years to come. I will be thinking of her and hoping she is beating this terrible disease.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.