I have a few friends who are "relay" experts. They've done it enough times that I sort of new what to expect. But it wasn't anything like I expected. I only wish the weather had have cooperated a little more because I would have had some fantastic pictures to take. People wear costumes, they decorate their tents and campsites with themes....it's an odd mixture of celebration and mourning.
Sean and I got there early and set up our tent and gear and got the team signed in. I checked out our luminaries and started crying....it was only 4:30...the walk didn't start until 7:00!
The kids were fantastic. They walked around the track like pros. Connor especially enjoyed all the sewers and a lot of the participants were quite taken with him. They lasted until about 10 pm before Sean took them all home to bed. Connor threw up in the car (a combination of too much excitement and too many timbits) and Emily had a moment of sadness, she felt like she let us down by coming home rather than staying the night. I was so proud of what she did, she couldn't possibly let me down and I made sure I told her so.
The luminary ceremony was very moving. They had a lone bagpiper play Amazing Grace and the lit all the luminaries. Then on the big screen they showed pictures sent in by the participants of their loved ones. There were about 6 of my Dad and it was a very emotional moment.
We did get rained on a bit and then drizzled on the rest of the night - the reason I don't have as many pictures as I wanted to. I bought luminaries for two very special friends in honour of their parents who they also lost to cancer last year. I was so focused on getting a good shot of their luminaries before they got ruined in the rain that I forgot to take a picture of ours. It's okay though, I'm planning to relight them on the 21st, beside my Dad's pond and I'll take pics then.
All in all it was a fantastic night. I was inspired by how many yellow shirts I saw (survivors!) and saddened by how many people I saw on the screen in yellow shirts from relays passed...the ones who didn't make it.
My foot was in horrible shape, I thought I'd re broken it (I've since had it x-rayed and it's not - thank goodness) but it made it hard to walk but I did - I walked like a mad woman. I figured - as much as my foot was hurting me - how much was cancer hurting someone right at that moment and they didn't have the option to throw in the towel and say "I quit" so I wasn't going to either.
I'm hoping next year to double our take - $3000! I've got big plans for our team flag and shirts and Connor will be old enough that we can all stay (I know Sean was disappointed about having to come home but we had no other options)
Anyhow, here's a few pics from our Relay.
Top row, left to right,
Catherine, John, Mom, Jennifer, Johnny, Brian, Sean (AKA baldy)
Connor in his stroller
Bottom left to right
Emily, Mary Jo, Carl, Mary Catherine, and Steven
Me and my brother John
Me and Connor - he was so excited about stepping on all the sewers...but lovey had to join us because Connor and crowds don't mix