Moments to remember:
- Waking up so early that it feels like I’m the only person left in the world; feeling so close to myself that I can hear the beating of my own heart
- Meeting new people who’s lives have been touched by a terrible disease. People that are so compelled to do something about it that they got up early to be part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. People that share stories with strangers about someone they love (or even their own) and their battle with cancer.
- Tears streaming down faces and no one caring who sees them. In remembrance, in anger, in joy, in determination to make a difference
- Seeing the joy on faces as they make it to camp after that first day; tears and dusty smiles as they practically collapse off their bikes. Being a part of their moment; lending a hand where I can
- Tasting a cold beer after a long dusty day, laughing and talking like old friends with people I barely know yet are now kindred spirits
- Feeling a soft bed, even there in a tent on the ground, feels so good after such a day
- Standing in the mud and rain, ignoring the cold in my hands as I clap them and cheer each and every rider, encouraging them by name to go out there and push through. Strangers become instant friends in the united fight
- My ball cap dripping rain off the brim, steam rising from the top of my head as I try to dry off a little; feeling guilty because I know they are out there riding in this.
- I think of those that fight the battle. I hear the reasons why people are here at the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I cry with them, I laugh with them. I am surprised again how much we are all the same.
- Seeing my dear friend at the finish line, knowing how much her body must hurt, how she climbed those hills pushing through that driving rain. I know how hard it must have been and I know how determined she is. Every ribbon and every name on her shirt a reason for her to refuse to get off that bike.
- Being so humbled to know amazing people like her. People that have their own battles to fight, yet still they find the strength to do something.
- I wonder about all the times that I’ve whined and complained. Times when I did not take action. It makes me understand that the only way things (especially ME) can change is by doing something. ANYTHING. Something.
- Then, when I came home and heard the words, “I missed you so much Mom” and the lump was there again in my throat as I realized that I don’t want them to ever have to hear the awful words “You have cancer” – that’s why I do these things. That’s why everyone was there. For their children and their children’s children
- And I curl up with that long-legged tween and tousle that goofy boy’s hair; praying that these moments never end. Praying that I will have the strength to DO something. ANYTHING. Each and every day