Sunday, May 23, 2010

Relay for Life 2010

We had a great experience at our first ever Relay for Life on Friday night. The Anchor of Hope Cancer Ministry at our church had a team, and it was quite an amazing experience to see some of our folks who are cancer survivors walk (and ride) in the survivor lap. The luminaries were also incredible to see...and, of course, there was one there for Hannah. We purchased a "photo luminary", which meant that her picture was on the bag and was also included in a slide show as part of the luminary ceremony. As the three of us stood there together looking at her bag and watching the slideshow, the overwhelming feeling we all had was: "We shouldn't be here." It just didn't seem right that we were standing there on the track, in view of the church where Hannah's funeral was held, seeing her picture in an "In Memory" slideshow. It just couldn't be.

But there we were, and it was where we needed to be. And really, we should have been there before now. Until cancer came to our home, we frankly were not that concerned about it. Cancer is an incredibly cruel disease. If Hannah had any vanity (and she did), it was in two areas...her sharp intellect and her thick, curly hair. Cancer stole both of them from her.

I really don't know if there will ever be a cure for cancer. We live in a fallen world; a world corrupted by sin and evil. I pray that it will be cured someday, but I'm just not sure if that is part of God's plan this side of Heaven. Cancer is one of those things that makes Heaven sweeter. But I do know that because of the efforts of the American Cancer Society (who gets the money raised from Relay for Life) and other organizations, there are many more survivors than there used to be. And I am so thankful for the improvements that have been made in cancer treatments over the years. As difficult as the treatments are today, they are not nearly as grueling as what patients went through even a decade ago. I am grateful for all those who traveled this path before us, leading to advances in radiation and chemotherapy which certainly extended Hannah's life.

I believe that Relay for Life will become an annual family tradition for us...but we will always remember this first one as something special!


Sarah said...

Love your posts and love to get a look inside your life, but I never know what to say in a comment (because I'm usually too emotional). From now on, I'll just leave smileys! :)

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same feelings when we were at our relay AND I agree Relay will become a tradition in our family also! looking forward to seeing you this weekend. love you Maria