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April 29, 2007


Relay for life was Friday and I've spent most of the weekend on the couch letting my muscles recover. At the end of an exhausting week, it was a nice way to wind down, if you can call 6 hours at an event as big as our Relay "winding down".

Relay for Life, in its 13th year in Pitt County, raises money for the American Cancer Society. Last year, the event raised $215,000 for cancer research and support. This year, participants generated $227,000 through donations and individual fundraising efforts, event organizers said. More than $40,000 was raised by St. James United Methodist Church.

Overall, the event, in its second year at this location, was very well organized. The good thing about having it there is that the field is totally enclosed by fences with closely watched gates so I felt safe letting my guard down, even with the crowd there. Yes, I let my kids stray a bit. To say I've had a problem with that in the past is an understatement.

Random quotes heard during the event:

My daughter (handing me an energy drink) : "Here Mommy, you can have this, it tastes gross!"

SB: "Did my ass dent that cooler? Please tell me it was like that before I sat on it?"

MC (a younger teacher talking about an older teacher) : "We had to teach D what S&M was last week."
BW (another older teacher) innocently :"What's S&M?"

RC (after it starts raining and everyone is scrambling under the shelter to stay dry, he stays sitting in the rain) : "I'm not worried, I won't melt. I may spread, but I won't melt."

Me (to SB, the one sitting on the cooler) : "Would you mind if I got a water out of there?"
SB (getting up) : "Oh, sure." (opens cooler and hands me a water)
Me : "Thanks!"
SB : "Anyone else want anything before I sit down again?"
(silence, SB sits and goes back to her conversation)
RC (after about 30 seconds) : "Hey, SB, could I have a water?"

Ok, so we're not hilarious but what do you expect, we are elementary school teachers!

This was my third year participating and each year is a different experience. The overall feeling I had this year was "acceptance", not only of the fact that I am a survivor, but of the fact that I'm moving into a new phase of parenthood. After complaining about not having any time at all to mySELF for the past 15 years, I am suddenly finding that I am left alone more than I am comfortable with.

After planning with my daughter all year for the walk, she calls me at 3:30 Friday to ask if she can go to Relay with her friend Emily. Now, it was fine with me if she went with her friend, as long as she is there for the Survivor Lap. Since she is the reason I am a survivor, I like her to walk with me so I can show her how important she is.

I can tell by the way she is talking that she totally has forgotten about it so I ask her when they are expecting to get there. She said Emily's mom was going to be there by 6 or so, so I tell her that maybe she shouldn't go with them because I really want her there with me for the Survivor Lap. She covers up that she forgot the time, mumbles aside to Emily and assures me she will be there in time. I reluctantly let her go home with Emily.

When I get home, I let my son know what is going on and he says "Don't worry, Mommy, if she doesn't show up, I'll be there with you." A very sweet thought for someone that was just calling me names the other day ...but that's a story for another day.

It turned into a lovely night, with far fewer uncomfortable moments and hardly any of the pain I've felt in the past. The boy hung out with me and the girl flitted in and out of the picture but that's ANOTHER long story that I'm just tired of telling. In the end,she spent the rest of the weekend with Emily and I'm still processing how I feel about that.

I did take time to reflect and relax though. I had nothing to prove, no chip on my shoulder ... I've come to a place where I really don't care much about what others think of me. I know who I am and what I am about ... anyone that doesn't accept me can sod off.

And I'll keep saying it until it's really true.

Addendum: In case you didn't notice, I have reached the end of my OCD induced alphabetized titling and will now title entries anything I damn well please. Umm, yeah, I know ... but I'm trying.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on April 29, 2007 8:09 PM.

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