Create Your Own
I was thinking about a way I could motivate myself to stick with my new commitment to exercise regularly. I have to confess, that I haven't done my walks today... I need to get my ex to haul the vacuum up here so that I can clean up the last bits of dust and debris off the treadmill and then I'll be good to go. I promise to walk laps around my living room later, if I have to, but I will get the walking in. As I was trying to think about a goal to work towards, It struck me that it was Relay for Life season. I have participated in Relay for Life in the past, but the last time I participated was with my mom several years ago. As I thought about participating in a RFL team this year, I couldn't help but remember my mom.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Relay for Life, it is a 24 hr walk that raises money for the fight against the big "C" and is the American Cancer Society's signature fund-raising event. The last time I participated was in 2001, the Spring before my mother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. My grandmother already been touched twice by cancer (breast and kidney...both primary cancers) and we had recently learned that her cancer had returned. My grandmother had also lost a brother just months before to bladder cancer. My mom and I were walking around the track and talking about the fact that we were walking in memory of Uncle Fred and in honor of my grandmother. I remember wondering silently if next Spring would find us walking in memory of my grandmother too. I never in my wildest nightmares thought the next year would be my last with both of them.
My mother had a bigger than life personality and she was loved by many people, but just as quickly as you could fall in love with her, she could piss you right the heck off. She always had lots of advice and she doled it out generously. God help you if you didn't take it...she'd have a few choice words for you then. Mom also loved a good argument and she wasn't always quick to admit when she was wrong. In spite of all that, She was an amazingly loyal and generous friend and family member who would give the shirt off her back to help those she cared about. Many people came to mom for help and advice because they knew that if Linda had your back, you were set. She was the type of person to secretly pay a friend's bills while they were going through a rough patch or anonymously send a care package to brighten their day.
We had our share of arguments as I struggled for my independence as an adult and I begged her for years to stop smoking. When she was diagnosed, I remember being so angry at her. I was angry because I thought she had been selfish continuing to smoke and now I was going to have to find a way to prepare myself and my son for her death. She didn't know it at the time, but the type of cancer she had never has a good outcome. I had been working for the American Cancer Society for some time and knew all too well what the survival statistics were like. She would be lucky to make it a year. She lasted 11 months.
At one point on the way home after one of her treatments, we stopped at a gas station and I went in to pay. I was behind this guy buying cigarettes and all I wanted to do was drag him out by his collar to look at my mother sitting in my car. I wanted to scream at him about how I'd spent the night before with her in the bathroom as she vomited from her treatment and ask him if he thought the cigarettes were worth it. I truly was raging silently inside just barely keeping a lid on all the pent up rage I had at losing my mother. Somewhere in the middle of this inner self righteous tirade, I looked from his hands holding the cigarettes to mine holding a package of twinkies and it hit me how much of a hypocrite I'd been. I was doing the same thing only with different ammunition. I wish I could say that I walked out to the car and asked for my mother's forgiveness, but I didn't. I was too ashamed. It's probably one of my deepest regrets.
I not only didn't ask for her forgiveness, but I didn't change my ways either. I'm fatter now than I was then. I've selfishly been feeding my addiction and robbing my son of years with his mother. I am dooming him to the same fate...losing his mom at much too early an age.
Today I signed up as a team captain to head my own Relay for Life team. I doubt I'm going to make it 24 hrs; I'll be lucky to make it once around the track at one time. I don't have much time to prepare for it either, but even if I'm the only one on my team, I'm going. This year I walk as an unspoken apology to my mother and as a pledge to my son that he hopefully will not have to learn what it is like to bury his mother for a very long time.
So thats why I Relay. I would encourage you to check out your local area for a Relay you might participate in. If you can't participate, consider a donation to the American Cancer Society. For more information, check out the video on Relay for Life below.
I'll keep you guys updated on my progress and thanks for reading :)
Yesterday's Food Log