Being surrounded in a sea of pink and tears and smiles was just the antidote to the fear and worry that I was experiencing. Seeing survivors from 1 - 45 years was beyond inspiring...especially knowing that next year, my own mom can walk with them - wearing her bright pink survivor shirt like a badge, a declaration, an announcement to the world that "I beat cancer, cancer didn't beat me."
I can't wait for that day.
Walking along with our team, the team we assembled in 2 short weeks, I felt supported. I felt loved. And I felt understood. I tried to walk and talk with everyone - tried to let them know how important it was to me that they chose to be here with us, on this rainy Seattle Sunday morning when I'm sure the newspaper and a hot cup of joe would have been tons more appealing, but here they were - walking for my mom.
Cousin Jen, Lotte and Colleen
It was overwhelming.
I walked with people I've known since birth. People I've known since childhood. People I've known since high school and people I've only known for 10 years. I walked with new friends and friends I'd just hardly met. I walked with my husband. And there we were, walking walking walking. Some knew how I felt. Some had been there. Solidarity never felt so good.
Jennette, Kim and Me
I will never be able to thank them enough, for giving me the strength that I could pass along to my mom, as she fights. Thank you Team Jane's Jugs.
I hugged her tight the other night, standing in the kitchen. Even though I'm just about a half inch taller than her now (and here you thought you'd always be taller than me, mom), I still feel like she's taller...
"I could stay like this forever," she said.
"Me too mom."
That's the funny thing about moms. Even when you're 37, even when you're the one supposed to be comforting her, even then - she takes care of you.
Mom and Me, 1973
Tonight I'm getting my hair done. Not really "done" done, just fiddled with a bit. I'm getting a bright pink hair extension placed atop my head.
(Need to remove this from "Things I'd never do at age 37" list immediately)
Turns out, they actually make breast cancer awareness pink hair extensions. And my sister-in-law's cousin just so happens to be one of the few hair designers who puts them in people's hair. And she's local!
How could I not?
I mean, seriously, how could I not?
So, come tomorrow morning at the surgical center, I'll not only be rocking all the love, support and everything else under the sun for my momma. I'll also be rocking some pink hair, holding her hand, and telling her to fight like a girl.
Because defeat isn't in our vocabulary.