Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Light Up the Night

Yellow lanterns were carried in memory.
Red lanterns were for supporters.
White for survivors.
Last Thursday was out of my ordinary. I headed up to Jacksonville for a Light Up the Night Walk with my friend and daughter to meet my family to walk in memory of my Aunt Joanie who lost her short, but fierce battle with ACL last January.  The purpose of the walk was to raise money to defeat blood cancers, Everywhere you turn, you might be asked to donate for a cause and the money is certainly a part of it.  Without events, there might not be a cure.  You might even question the necessity of putting on a walk, a run, or an event. Wouldn't money just be better spent giving directly to the cause? Ultimately the events are for the living too.  The events celebrate the surviving, celebrate the supporters, and memorialize those who didn't survive because there are always                                                               those who must carry on when they are no survivors

It was a beautiful night to celebrate a life lost.  Last week would have been around the time that my aunt confessed she didn't feel well and went to the hospital.  Once she was admitted in November, she spent only a few days from November to January out of hospital care.   This fall we created TEAM JEM.  Friends and family donated money.  A few of us, her husband, her sister, her niece, and friends, walked.  Our hearts weren't light that night, because the first year is always the hardest.  The first of everything without them always is.  Later the firsts become less, but the firsts without never end.  The two mile walk was a small way for us to collectively face the sadness.  My daughter summed it up wisely, especially for a ten year old.  As we crossed the last bridge, she said that she wished there were more white lanterns, because that would mean that there were more survivors. Which is always in the end why we walk.

1 comment:

  1. Those lanterns are beautiful! So is the meaning behind the colors.

    You know, I thought there were too many walks until my daughter was diagnosed with CAS and we did that walk. It meant so much to me to have friends support her by making a donation. While CAS isn't terminating children's lives like cancer, it is also important to raise money for research and to support assistive communication devices, for instance, for kids whose families cannot afford them but need them to communicate. I guess you could say my perspective on walks for everything under the sun changed when an important charity became CASANA.

    Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, if not sooner.


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