Saturday, June 9, 2012

For Good

A friend of mine who knows how important this event is to me mentioned the lyrics of a song to me some time ago. I'm not much of a show tunes girl, so I hadn't paid attention to the lyrics before. After she told me, I listened to "For Good" from Wicked.

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me 
Is made from what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

So, race day is tomorrow and while tomorrow will be an uplifting, wonderful, meaningful day for so many of us, it is with a heavy heart that I post this last blog. Three very important, wonderful people who were the catalyst for tomorrow are going to be watching over us and we wanted to honor them by updating everyone about their families and letting everyone know how they continue to inspire us. Though these entries are difficult to read, please forge ahead. Because, while these women aren't with us right now, it's absolutely AMAZING how they touched so many people in their lives and continue to do so. If it weren't for these women, 600+ people wouldn't be showing up tomorrow at the 3rd annual F.A.B. 5k. What would they say if they knew they did that? I can imagine the smile on their faces. When you run or walk tomorrow, remember these women in addition to the people you are honoring by walking. If you are a woman with breast cancer, know how much you are needed, loved, and honored.  See you on race day!

Barb's Update

Today would have been my mom's 75th birthday.  So I want to start out by saying Happy Birthday Mom. 
When the four of us decided that we would give updates on our inspirations, I thought that it was a great idea.  Then I realized that it might be hard for those of us who have lost our inspirations, but really it's a good thing to get to talk about them.  Even though my mom is gone from this earth, she is with me in everything that I do, still inspiring me and all of us to keep doing what we are doing, for those that can't be here to  fight this battle called breast cancer.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my mom, even though I know she is with me every day.  I wish I could talk to her, but know what she would tell me.  If there is one thing my mom taught me and anyone else who knew her, it was that her family was the most important thing in her life.  We didn't have a lot growing up with six kids, but we had more love in our house than anyone could ask for.  The most important thing for my mom was that all of us six of us got along.  She would have been devastated had it been any other way.  The thing is, it isn't just an act, the six of us truly love one another and want to be together.  She did that, she showed us how to love and what love can do.  We were actually all together last weekend, all six of us (and many more), for my nephew's graduation.  My mom was definitely with us, in all of us.  In two weeks my brother is getting married, we will all be there, she will be deeply missed, but we all know she will be watching.  
My mom not only loved us, but she loved everyone.  My neighbor who I grew up with sent me an email on mother's day.  She said that while in church they mentioned mom's who aren't your actual mom, but who loved and treated you like you were one of their own and she said that was mom my to a "T".  It made me feel so good that two years after my mom passed away other people still think about her and appreciate the love she shared.  
I recently started reading a blog and she always says that LOVE WINS, my mom felt the same way.  

Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened! - Dr. Seuss

I came across a picture of my mom, myself and Charmaine crossing the finish line at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in 2008.   She looks as proud of me as my own mother.  It was one of many “finish lines” we crossed together in her lifetime and I guess in away doing the F.A.B. 5k is just another way of me getting to cross a “finish line” with her.  

The Dr. Seuss saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it HAPPENED!” is so fitting for Charmaine.  I was very lucky because her last two years she moved closer to her doctors, which meant closer to me.  I was able to swing by and make her lunch, check in on her, occassionally take her to the doctor.  I was able to give my girls some great memories with her.  I am grateful that “happened”.  Charmaine is the reason I am who I am today and not just her disease but the person she was.  She was a positive loving and caring person.  No matter who she talked to she always made them feel special and I smile because that “happened.”  As a family we can’t believe we go on but we do.  And when we remember her, we smile through our misty eyes because she “happened” to us!

The Gift Of Watching Your Kids Grow Up

Sarah would have turned 41 the day after this year's F.A.B.5k if we hadn't lost her 1.5 years ago after her long struggle with breast cancer.  Although Ben, Sam and I have learned to let life carry us forward again, do you know when grief still often overcomes me?  It's when I see how much the boys have grown and matured since Sarah was last with us.  I'm so proud of them, and so amazed at how they are developing in character as well as in size.  One of the most difficult things that Sarah faced in that last month was the heartbreak of not being able to see our boys grow up and be a part of their lives.  That fear was the first one she gave voice to after hearing the cancer diagnosis 5 years earlier, and I think it was one of the hardest things to accept in our difficult journey together.  Now, when I look at how big Ben and Sam are getting, I am reminded of what Sarah has already missed in seeing them grow up, and what the boys are missing in having to grow up without their mother, and what I miss in being able to share that parent's pride and amazement with the only other person who could truly share it back.  I'm still amazed at the courage Sarah showed during the toughest times of her struggle - despite facing this loss, she poured all the love she could into our boys even when they couldn't fully understand how precious that love, and the time we had left, was.  With a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I'm remembering how she said to Ben and Sam in her "last video" that she would always love them.  Her love greeted them as they entered the world, it shaped and nurtured them in their early years, and I hope in some way she can still send her love to sustain the boys as they grow up...
Cancer took Sarah from us, and it does the same for so many other moms who have to face leaving their children behind.  If this terrible disease can be beat, if a cure can be found... then we have to help in any way we can!  Let's support the F.A.B. 5k and raise money for breast cancer research.  Join us on 10 June for the F.A.B. 5k race! 


  1. very touching Alan........Elizabeth

  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?