Only 73 more days until the Relay for Life.
This year will bring about the most changes from our past Relay's.
It's at a different location. We've not done it at this new school before and the tent city is in the middle of the track rather than beside it. I'm told the energy is very different when the tents are inside the track. I can't wait to see how that goes.
We aren't doing a big fundraising event this year. It's a lot of work and while we enjoy it, I don't think neither my Mom nor I have it in us this year. (ironic since last year when I was actually battling cancer I had the energy to plan a surprise party for her birthday hosting 60 people AND do the Spring Tea Fundraiser and this year when I'm healthy I don't have the energy - go figure)
However, we're still asking friends and family to make pledges. I'm donating all the sales from both of my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my Teachers Notebook store for the month of April to the Relay as well.
And this year our team will be solely me, my mom and the kids. Everyone else from our past teams have opted out this year. We'll have to add in 4 'ghost' names to make our team of 10 but that's okay.
See, here's the thing.
I Relay as a way to remember my Dad. Sure we remember him every single day - there are still days I'll drive up to my house and if the garage door is open I'll expect to see him there. But the Relay in particular makes me remember his battle, albeit a short one, with cancer. I Relay to remember all the other family and friends we've had who have lost their battles - Aunt Maire, Aunt Pat, Aunt Cathy, my sister in law's Mom Olive, my Mom's dearest friend Barb, my husband's brother Dennis, a former coworker Pat .... sadly the list goes on and on.....
I also Relay to honour the survivors: Amy, Debra, Sherry, Lisa, Francis, Gar, Janice, Harrison....and yes, myself too.
Cancer was the single most difficult thing I have ever faced and it has changed me. Where before I would have taken it personally and been angry that no one joined our team this year I don't feel any of that.
This event isn't as much about the money we raise for me anymore (don't get me wrong - I still strive to raise a truck load of money but let's face it, we'll never be a huge money maker team - we're simple too small - but I'll raise as much as I can) But the fact is, I Relay for my reasons and my reasons alone.
I Relay because I fought too damned hard to earn the right to wear that yellow shirt and walk the first lap alone with my fellow survivors to let anything get me down. Sure, I'd love to have my family - all of them - there to celebrate that victory with me - that support means more to me than money but if they aren't I will still walk my lap and celebrate my victory. I will still raise my money and on May 31st I will Remember. I will Fight Back.
Because I am a