One week from today, at this time, I will be at Relay For Life setting up the tree. Pulling each ornament out of the box and placing it on the tree. Oooing and ahhing over each one, trying to remember each story. I have the notes you all sent me with your ornaments. I am sure I will read each one again and remember why you stitched it.
At Relay, if you have never been, there is a luminary ceremony at 9:00pm. All around the track, on both sides, are white paper bags with candles in them. On the bag is the name of someone special who has had cancer. Friends and families donate money for each one of these bags in memory of or in honor of a cancer patient.
The tree, with it's own lights, will be a giant luminary. Each ornament was carefully stitched in honor or in memory of a cancer patient.
In year's past I have walked the tree and took in each name, sometimes even remembering knowing the actual cancer patient. This year, I think I will simply sit by the tree, taking in all the precious time that was given to help others.
Did you know that we have 206 ornaments? 206. And more are coming.
Relay For Life is a time of reflection for me. A time to gather myself for the fight ahead. For the year ahead when I get frustrated in my job and wonder why I am doing this.
I walk and I stitch for a cure. And pray that this Relay will give hope to those who need it most.