Wow. What a day. And it was wrapped up with me listening in on the brother banter going on upstairs. "Gideon, it's time you know the difference between tattling and telling with a purpose. Like if someone makes you bleed and you tell, that's telling with a purpose. But if you use that 'Maaaa-ooooom!' voice that goes up and down, you are probably about to tattle." Thank you, Ms. Williams, for being the sage Kindergarten teacher you are -- both of my boys are learning from you.
And now for some more thank yous: THANK YOU to my fellow CureSearch Committee members for making this year's CureSearch Walk a GINORMOUS success. Thank you to Lynn Ross for starting a Bronco Hockey Team (and to all of the Bronco hockey players who came), to my girl Dawn Marciniak for heading up the Edward Jones Team, and to the Mick family for leading the Mattawan team! To all of those who donated and came to support: THANK YOU! If you still would like to donate on behalf of Children's Cancer, there is still time (you KNEW I would throw that in there). Just click here and more funds will be allocated in finding cures for childhood cancer and in developing more child-friendly medicine.
The event itself raised over $53,000.00 and counting! It is still coming in, and I will post that total soon. I can't tell you how excited I was to see the Celery Flats just SWARMING with walkers. Watching those balloons sail into the sky, listening to the speakers, and just feeling that vibe of hope in the air -- I wanted to inhale it forever.
It's always sad to be introduced to so many new families, but we are a forced family who has one another's backs. Which reminds me, Mary Kay Pederson started a Facebook page called "Cancer Families United." If you are battling (or have battled in the past) childhood cancer and want to network with other southwest Michigan families, please join. We are a spunky group of moms with a lot of fire in our hearts due to our common dream. It is so great that we can be so candid and honest with one another. Plus, those ladies make me laugh and cry from their posts. I really, really, really wanna bust out a certain acronym right here, but I think only those ladies would laugh... heeheehee...
As wonderful as the event was, it was just as awful. There were definite holes this year where vibrant children stood last year, but are no longer with us. I felt God all around me today with the blue skies and the sun. I could feel the compassion and love radiate out of the crowd as the families who wanted to remember and honor their children stepped forward. God gave us souls. He gave us brains. We need to use both so that no more families have to step forward. So that no more babies are robbed. Remember that fire? It's still there. I won't give up.
There were those not there today because of loss, and there were others not there because they are deep-deep-deep in the trenches of battle with cancer, and couldn't come. I am thinking of you, Viking Princess Maren! We thought of you as we released our balloon, wishing and praying that you beat this thing!
I have to also mention another hero of mine, James Grubius. He stood next to my Gideon and said, "You are a SURVIVOR! You look like you are doing good." In true James fashion, he lifts everyone else up around him no matter how sick he might be or how much pain he is in right this second. And I was complaining about a headache this morning. These small cancer fighters are bigger people than I will ever be.
With that, I better stop. I'm starting to cry and then I just type-type-type without a filter. AGAIN: THANK YOU!