Walking to remember with Relay For Life
The cancer survivors wore purple t-shirts; each held a purple balloon. I am a cancer survivor; I wore a purple t-shirt and held a purple balloon last night. The balloons represented the fear of cancer returning. We released our balloons at the same time.
Letting go of fear.
The survivors walked around the track together at the Boyertown, Pennsylvania Relay for Life, yesterday. The Survivors Lap celebrates the survivors victory over cancer. People clapped as we walked by. I cried.
My daughter said, “Lets buy a luminaria for Grandpa. I never met him, but I want to remember him.”
We bought a luminaria for her grandfather, my father. She was born four years after he died. I felt like I was shopping for groceries. I didn’t feel the need to write his name down or remember him publicly.
My daughter and I walked around the high school track looking for my father’s name. The luminaria were placed in alphabetical order on the inside edge of the track. The bags encircled the entire track. When we found the bag with his name written on it, we held each other and cried. Writing my father’s name and speaking his name out loud made him feel alive.
Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
Cancer has touched my life. It touched my leg with malignant melanoma. It touched my father’s life with colon cancer and killed him. Cancer has touched my mother’s life with breast cancer. And it has touched my brother’s life with prostate cancer. My brother and my mom and I are survivors.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
― Thomas Campbell
If you would like to walk in a Survivor Walk or walk with a team in a Relay For Life event, you can click here to find an event in your area. You can also give tax-deductible donations to The American Cancer society and Relay for Life here, if you are unable to walk.
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.