As most of you know, a few months ago I sort of fell into committing myself as a team captain for the Pittsboro Relay for Life. I'm a "sucker" that way, that's how I got hooked on selling Mary Kay makeup 20 years ago! But my heart was in the right place that night. It had only been a few short months since my buddy Deb died from cancer and we learned of my grandmother's diagnosis with colon cancer and subsequent surgery, barely a year after my grandfather endured the same. After hearing the testamonials and feeling the excitement in the room I thought, I want some of this!!! So, as the proverbial saying goes, I signed on the dotted line.
A pretty table setting, don't you think? We got lots of nice compliments and even sold a few cupcakes! And that's our tent behind the table and my dad. Instead of a monetary donation, Lee Reddinbow, a friend of my niece's, went to REI, purchased the tent and sent it down here with Christa for us to use for the night! How generous was that? I don't know if Lee will ever use the tent again - that's the kind of guy he is. He saw we had a need and he helped fullfill it. Thank you Lee! Anyway, the tent became a haven for us and the cupcakes when the skies opened and the rain POURED down!!! It became simply comical watching each of us grab a tray of cupcakes or a framed "menu" and head for cover in the tent! Even my dad, God love him, crawled in that tent to help protect our sweet concoctions! And we did this not once but THREE times!!! Obviously, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed! I insisted, once the clouds parted and the rain stopped, that we set the table - AGAIN - only to have another storm cloud pass and, well, you're getting the picture! It was like a Lucille Ball act after awhile!!! Oh, where was the video camera??!!
But, eventually, things did dry up and we were able to hear the cash register ring (okay, it was my dad's modified first aid kit, but, again, you get the idea)!
This was my innaugural Relay. I did not know what I was in store for. I knew the schedule of events and the role of my team and I'd even prepared myself for a lump in my throat. I was not prepared enough.
These are the cancer survivors we recognized in our little community that day. Cancer has no regard for race, sex or age... I fell apart here and the event hadn't even been officially kicked off. I cried tears of happiness for my grandparents for both of them are survivors. I cried tears of anger because Deb did not survive and I cried tears of disbelief and unfairness when I saw the three young children in this group of incredible people. I cried tears of complete sadness because my husband's mother did not survive - and I know how much he misses her. And I cried tears of joy because I had my husband there with me to comfort me and I had my family there to share this time with me and because maybe, just maybe, by being a part of this tiny little event I might help make a difference one day.
And how appropriate is God's timing? Sunday after the Relay was Homecoming at my church. This is when we celebrate those church members and community friends who have gone home to be with God. It's a time when extended family members join us in prayer and fellowship in our little country church. And I was so fortunate to have my family with me at this event, too! Here's my gang... oh how I love them...
I have so much more to share - memories we made, pictures we took - but I'll save some for later. Instead, I thought I'd close by saying prayers do get answered, our lives can be fulfilling especially when doing things for others, things don't always make sense, there's good in everyone, tragedy strikes, sadness creeps in, a new day brings new opportunity, EVERYTHING happens for a reason and in GOD'S way and time and HE is truly the leader and in complete control. When I moved to Bear Creek, North Carolina 6 years ago this July, my life changed. For that, I am eternally grateful. I believe and accept that I am where I am supposed to be - physically and spritually and I don't want to be anywhere else...my cup runneth over...and so does my heart...