Making Strides – Breast Cancer Walk
Tampa Oct 18, 2014
A very special time when we join with other familes in October.
There are so many that shares in your loss and in the fierce determination to make breast cancer go away forever.
Tammy & I, walked thru all the emotions, the healing and the hope with others. (It was not particularly easy, if you know what I mean.) Tammy was my mother’s favorite. She never left my mother’s bedside.
This was inspiring and meaningful to so many – who are on their courageous journey.
The survivors released their balloons in a symbolic gesture of victory and hope. I cried on the inside. All I could think about Mom looking down on us…smiling.
At some parts of the walk, you walk. There are no words. There is a silence. You just keep moving forward with thousands of other families.
Another moment that also caught me by surprise was “The Turn Around”. In other words, at “The Turn Around.” You literally start the walk back, as in The Return. A triumphant a declaration that you will make it through together – and YOU WILL return home.
A NEW HOPE.
On the return back, you found yourself speeding up, filled with a sense of new joy. There was healing in a deep place that’s hard to get to and hard to find.
THE FINISH LINE.
The walk slowed to almost a stop as people hugged and cried. Other’s crossed in silence. Tammy & I seemed to experience all of these emotions all at the same time.
For those who are having a hard time taking that first step to sharing such a very personal and for many a heart wrenching experience of memories -- I know I can speak for Tammy when I say this… you can do it.
I want to thank our daughters, Yvette, Caitlyn and Kerry for their inspiration and taking the lead. We learned there is a wonderful community willing to embrace support and encourage you. I’m so sorry we missed last years walk with you.
We love you, Mom. We miss you. Gmak is the best. Forever and ever and ever. And yes we are saying our prayers and eating our vegatables. You’re awesome Mom!
one more thing Mom… Caitlyn actually learned to cook. And Kerry, she finished nursing. She’s really good. It just remined me of you when you went back to school when Dad was in Vietnam so you could get your master’s degree; just in case. Thank you. I know you did not get much sleep either.
I’M STILL – “A PROJECT” Tammy says
And Mom…Thanks for teaching me so about parenting. I don’t exactly get it right all the time as Tammy will verify; but I do get a lot of it right. Maybe. I think.
EVERYONE WAS SAFE:
The safest place in the world.
MOMS ARE THE BEST
I don’t know how you stretched Dad’s flight pay of $6500 a year. Thanks for making our clothes. Thanks for the extra nickel you taped inside my first grade lunch box. I needed it the day I dropped my thermos and it cracked.
You always had a smile on your face, Mom… like…this picture was taken during the Cuban missile crisis. Dad was ordered to drop his nuclear bombs if the Russians did not retreat from Cuba. You protected us from everything.
And yes, the boys are all grown up almost. That’s “Big” John in the 1UP shirt. Remember how big he was as a baby! He’s only 13 but he is already Bigger than David, Wendell, Max and Bri. He has your big smile.
And… well Karen, besides being a big shot at Stanford and Harvard, she’s an super big shot executive. I need to get an appointment to see her. She is so important.
Add Jonathan Yale.
ALL THE WAY
You were so courageous. All the way.
And, I’m not going to lie. It was me that borrowed (sorta) Karen’s silver dollars in 1964. Don’t worry, I paid her back out of my first paycheck from the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.
I’m still reaching out to the kids in school. There’s this new thing they do called Facebook, Twitter & Intagram; you would not believe…
...never mind. It’s not important.
...These are your great grandchildren. Isaiah & Mallania. Isaiah is Kerry’s son.
Mallania is David’s daughter.
I wanted you to meet them.
Mallania loves watering your plants. Last week she was selected to be the #1 line leader at Pre-K. She was so excited. She’s a girlie-girl too.
THE FIRST DAY
Isaiah started Kindergarten – this year.
It looks like he’s carrying too much, I know. There’s nothing inside but Optimus Prime and Spiderman.
GRAND CHILDREN ARE THE BEST
After school his bus comes at 3:05 but I get there at 2:30.
I’m so excited. I can’t wait.
YOU WERE RIGHT
I know you can see us.