Making Strides – Breast Cancer Walk
Tampa Oct 18, 2014
October is a very important month for so many people and we share this courageous journey with many families across America. This was last weekend at the Tampa Arena, the start of the 5K walk.
If you have never join the Making Strides Walk
Let me encourage you to do so. It is a life changing experience. You realize that there is a community that shares in your loss and in the fierce determination to solve this once and for all.
Tammy & I really looked forward to sharing this and of course walk thru all the emotions, healing and hope together. (It was not particularly easy, if you know what I mean.)
This picture is kinda blurry, but you can get the picture.
There were literally thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world, each sharing in this single very powerful event together. It was more than just a walk. It was a stand of courage, hope, strength.
This was my favorite area. The VIP area where they celebrated the survivors, those women and their families who traveled this very difficult journey all the way through and all the way back.
I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that hit me when the survivors released their balloons in celebration. As I watched the balloons rise, all I could think about was Mom looking down on us. I know she was smiling. Tammy was her favorite. She was at her bedside until the moment when she crossed over.
At some parts of the walk, you walk. There are no words. There is a silence. You just keep moving forward with thousands of other families.
Another moment that also caught me by surprise was the turn. In other words, at the turn you literally start walk back, returning to the Arena. It was so symbolically inspiring, “the return” -- a declaration of strength – that you can make it through together -- and you will return home.
As we continued on the way back, you found yourself speeding up, filled with a sense of new joy. I definitely can’t explain it nor can I define it – you can only experience it. All I know was that it was important, there was healing in a deep place that’s hard to get to and hard to find, an acknowledgement of hope and power by walking together with such a massive community, determined, focused and committed.
The walk slowed to almost a stop as people gathered underneath the FINISH line and hugged and cried. Others didn’t say anything but you just knew they were experiencing something very important and very big. Tammy & I seemed to experience all of these emotions all at the same time.
There is a healing. This was important. And for those who are having a hard time taking that first step to sharing such a very personal and for many a heart wrenching experience of memories -- I know I can speak for Tammy when I say that it will be a shared moment of love, healing, hope and restoration.
It’s important for all women. It’s important for all familes. It’s important for all daughters. And I want to thank our daughters, Yvette, Caitlyn and Kerry for their inspiration and taking the lead.
There is a wonderful community willing to embrace support and encourage you. And we are a part of that community. I’m so sorry we missed last years walk with you.
We love you, Mom. We miss you. Gmak is the best. Forever and ever and ever. And yes we are saying our prayers and eating our vegatables. You’re awesome Mom!