Thank you Trisha, Nicole, Stephanie & Ryan for joining me on this celebration.
This is one of the most important missions I do yearly. It's important to me since my Aunt Flo was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It is because of her that I started walking. It is in her memory that I walked today. And it is in her name that I will always walk!
Aunt Flo is my favorite person in the world. She is the one person I was able to be completely honest with. She knew more about me, than anyone else. She was the most fun, outgoing, smart, beautiful, friendly, caring person this Earth was ever home to. She had a way of making a room come alive. She would always make you feel important. And she never forgot a birthday. She would give you the shirt off her back, or in most cases the shoes off of her feet. She would always bring groceries to my home when visiting & then she would offer to cook. She knew how to cheer me up & make me smile.
Her death was the first death in my family to hit me hard.
We watched her get worse instead of better.
It's hard when someone you think so much of, is sick & there is nothing you can do to make them better.
You get angry.
You feel cheated.
You might beg for more time.
Or else you pray for their suffering to end.
With Aunt Flo, I prayed for more time. I prayed for a miraculous cure.
But I also wished for her suffering to end as I hated to see her in pain.
This was not a woman who did anything wrong or had a mean bone in her body. She didn't deserve this.
No one deserves Breast Cancer.
Or any type of cancer.
I hate cancer so much, I hope cancer gets cancer & dies!
It's sad that we have to do these walks. It's hard to believe we have the ability to give men better errections with drugs like Viagra, or that women can fewer periods with some drug, or that we have an APP for buying these drugs.....but we can't cure cancer? Seriously? Where do our priorities lie? Why isn't our government funding these research groups a bit better? Let the government hold a bake sale or have a walk yearly to get money for stupid things like weapons of mass destruction.
Okay...I'll put the soapbox away....for now....
....back to the walk....
The walk today will be a great one. Probably one of the best I've ever done. Five miles along the Jones Beach boardwalk on a clear chilly fall New York day is just what I need.
So it's with Trisha, Nicole, Stephanie & Ryan that I will walk.
It's in memory of Aunt Flo & Cousin Carrie, in honor of Bonnie, Debbie, Sara & Lisa that I walk today.
I love the walk at Jones Beach. I love the people that come out for the walk. I love the sea of pink walking along the boardwalk. Mostly, I love the feeling in the crowd. The pride. The love. The togetherness. The fun. The Survivors. The patients battling their cancer!
I love the color pink. Always did ever since I was a little girl. As a grown woman I know sporting pink = Breast Cancer Awareness. I know I'm going to wear pink proudly every October until we have a cure. Until we beat it.
There will come a day when I will wear pink & not think about Breast Cancer....there has to be....
So today I am gearing up all in pink to join the walkers for another year at Jones Beach.
Party City is amazing. Every year they have tons of fun stuff for the Breast Cancer Walk. This year I have decided I want to go over the top. I want more pink. So I will find it. I ended up buying bright pink hairspray, bright pink disco mardi gras beads, light pink beads with a whistle, a light pink feather boa, a light pink marabou feather hat, & a bright pink light up ring. Trisha will get me a pink ribbon scarf.
On the morning of the walk, I will use the bright pink hairspray. Oy. What a mess! My bathroom looked like a pink bomb exploded in it. It was crazy! Sadly, it was not only messy, but hard to get a good color on my hair. Lesson learned for next year....pass on the hairspray!
Plus the bright pink hairspray will prevent me from wearing the marabou feather hat! Oh well....I'll save it for next year.
After letting the hairspray dry, my hair gets put up into a ponytail. I wear my black yoga pants, a black T-shirt & my bright pink hoodie. This is pretty much the yearly outfit for this walk. Then I layer on the pink bling. The goodies all bought in Party City.
I'm feeling good.
I'm ready for this walk today.
I'm ready to make a difference.
Time to walk.
Trisha & her kids have never done this walk before. I love newbies to the walk. It means more people showed up & hopefully they will touch others to walk in the years ahead.
I explain how people get all dolled up in pink for this walk.
I also explain how we are to cheer for Survivors when we see them in the walk.
Stephanie is the first to point out a Survivor & we cheer for her. We will cheer for several other Survivors during the walk. God bless them for making it out!!!
The American Cancer Society does a great job at this walk every year. They do a lot for the Survivors who come out & walk. The Survivors get T-shirts & medals & other goodies. They deserve it. They earned it!
So when you do the walk & you see someone in a Survivor T-shirt, give them a shout out. They've been through a lot & would probably appreciate the love.
Here's what I love about the Jones Beach walk....there are vendors everywhere. Medical companies come out & offer health screening. Positive Promotions comes out every year & sells Breast Cancer items so you can show your support. And Canon comes out. Their staff raises tons of money. And there are vendors offering raffles. And vendors offer free food. Stop N Shop always brings out tons of free water for walkers. And there are tons of volunteers from every walk of life here. High school cheerleaders come out & amp up the walkers. And there are firemen, police, & military groups that come out as well. Not to mention various groups of people walking as a team for Breast Cancer patients.
I love the family teams. The ones who make up a name for their family member for whom they walk. I love their T-shirts. I love their stories. I love that they showed up. They always have the most fun during these walks.
I love the companies that come out & walk as well. I always cheer for Canon....mostly because I love my Canon camera! Which by the way, has been used for all of my digital photos posted in this blog. I love that Canon does a lot for this walk every year. They have huge fund raisers & the company matches what their employees donate! I respect that.
The walk this year is a great one. Another year of walking to make a difference. Another year to remember why I walk. Another year to raise money & awareness on this cause.
I use the time during the walk to reflect on my reasons for walking. I think about the women who have touched my life. I think about the two that I have lost & the ones that remain. I think about them as I am in a sea of pink. And then I think about all the people who are walking & for whom they walk.
It makes me smile.
Even for all the sadness we have shared without knowing each other.
We are here now.
We are together in a cause.
We are walking.
We are in pink.
We are making a difference.
At the halfway point, there is a fence up. People leave something behind in honor or memory of the person for whom they walk. As always, I leave behind my sticker. I never take it home. I take the time to say a prayer for those who lost their battle & ask for strength for those still battling. Like everyone here today, I pray for an end to Breast Cancer.
So while I am sad for the loss of my Aunt Flo & my cousin Carrie, I am happy to have had them in my life. I am thankful every day for them. And I will forever be thankful for them.
Aunt Flo, I know you are smilng down on me from Heaven. I know you & Marcia are getting ready to sit front row center to see Elvis tonight. And then you two will hit a Bingo game going on. Win big babe! Win big!
Cousin Carrie, I am so sorry you are gone. You were taken away too soon. I wish all the best for your girls, my little cousins. It is an honor to have had you in our family.
I am thankful for my friends who have battled their Breast Cancer & for their strength to keep battling it.
Bonnie, Debbie, Sara & Lisa....I am so inspired by your strength ladies! I will always walk for you...any time...any place!
While this mission is something I do yearly, I added it as one of my 40 things thinking I could get 40 people to join me for the walk. And while I didn't get 40 people, I got 4 amazing people to get out & walk. I had more fun with these 4 people than I could have had with another 36 people added!
Trisha, I know I always brag about my 'nieces' & 'nephew'. I should also brag about you. You are Super Mom! You & Brian are raising these kids with a great set of morals & values. Keep it up!
Nicole, my winged angel, you are becoming such a beautiful young woman! I'm so proud of you!
Stephakins, my wild child, thank you for reminding me it's okay for this 40 year old to have fun! I love ya kiddo!
Ryan, my little buddy, thank you for making me laugh & smile! I adore that cute smile & those chubby cheeks, which I have stopped pinching...FINALLY!
Overall, this has been a great celebration. I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I get to blog about it. Now maybe next year I can get 41 people to show up!
And with this celebration completed, I have done 13 of 40 things from my list. I am looking forward to whatever is next.......
And now for some photos on the day.......