This weekend was our county Relay for Life walk and this was my first year participating on a team. Some of us from church formed a team to join the fight against cancer. The whole event is awe inspiring to begin with. People who have lost loved ones, people who have survived, people who are battling, and others who just want to help fight cancer give up most of thier weekend to walk and raise money for cancer research.
At one point on Friday night, there is a luminary ceremony that is very touching. This year the organizers added these lanterns that float in the air with the heat generated from the candle/burner system. As the lanterns were floating in the night sky, I thought of my grandma. She fought a brave battle against breast cancer for 6 years before the disease finally won. 15 years later, I can still remember sitting in the hospital room with her, the oncologist, my mom, and her sisters. The oncologist wanted to show us her latest bone scan, which showed us that the cancer tumors had spread throughout her bones all over her body. My grandma looked at me and asked me if it was okay that she stopped fighting because she was tired of the treatments. I couldn't tell her no; I wanted to scream no but I couldn't tell her no. She had endured so much over the last year of her life that I understood she was tired. I told her I understood and she died almost 6 months to the day the oncologist told us she last. I still miss her terribly. As I watched those laterns dance in the sky Friday night, I thought of her. I could hear her laughter, see her smile, smell her powdery body perfume, and feel her embrace. It was a very moving experience for me. I'm glad I decided to join the team this year, it was worth the exhaustion I felt today.