I sat at Starbucks tonight to hand out shirts for the walk on Saturday. It was so awesome to see some old friends who are honoring Owen and walking with us. It reminded me of when I first walked with an old high school friend who is a breast cancer survivor. I registered to walk with my mom. In fact I walked shortly after I found out I was pregnant with triplets and the triplets walked with me last year.
It’s been three, maybe four years since the first time I walked on her team. I was energized to walk for someone I knew. I felt like I had a link to the cause and that I belonged at the walk. Even though it had been years since we talked, i walked with purpose and emotion. Wen i think about it, the feeling was out of place in a way since I hadn’t had contact with the friend since high school. Yet I found myself saying “I know someone who has had breast cancer.” Sharing with others that “a good friend from high school had breast cancer”. I hung the newspaper article of her story in my cube at work. Her beautiful face and bald head from the front page article looked at me every day. She was the image of a survivor to me. I was proud to say I knew her. I was proud to say she was a friend. I had no idea if she said the same about me.
We don’t talk a lot. In fact we see each other only at the walk, once a year. But I think of her. I watch her Facebook page. I wish her well all the time. Her story is beauty. Her story is strength and survival. A reminder to live life.
I think I’m thinking about her a lot tonight as she handed out this years walk shirts at the same Starbucks i sat at tonight.
I ended up there on accident. I meant to send the address to the Starbucks on the other end of Moreland. But I found myself there tonight. Wondering who she sat with … If anyone. What does she think about? Does she relive her cancer each year? Does she find celebration in handing out the shirts? Does the emotion dwindle or does it get stronger over time?
Am I like her? I survived a death … She survived cancer. Are they similar? I have no idea …. I’ve never had cancer.
What I do know is that I’m proud to know her. I’m proud to wear her name on my back every time I participate in the Riverwalk for breast cancer. I am one of her warriors every year. Every day i wear the shirt. To think that Owen will have over 60 warriors this year. There aren’t words to express how honored I am.
Bring on the orange!