Back in 1996, I had my 43 birthday. I was a month into chemo, hairless, lacking energy and feeling a little anxious about my battle. Unbeknowst to me, my brother and sisters planned on surprising me for my birthday. I think I was somewhere down the hall, maybe in bed. To tell you the truth the shock of seeing them probably knocked my memory right out of me. (Or the chemo...) These Northwesterners came to cheer me up, and celebrate my day.
I don't remember every detail, but what I do remember is making a road trip to Los Altos. We grew up in Los Altos. It's the last place where we all lived together as a family. We walked the old neighborhood and ran into a few of my Mother's old friends. It was a bitter sweet day, because you can't help but miss such a incredible woman on a day that was meant for remembering. We went to Los Altos High School. I told them how my yearbook had been thrown out in one of my father's moves, so we headed into the library and talked the librarian into letting me "buy" an extra copy of the year book for a donation to the library. The Yearbook was a GREAT birthday present, but didn't touch that feeling of being connected to my family.
It's one good thing about illness, it brings out the caring we have for each other. Too often, we let those moments, when we could express our love for people slip by without doing so. Today, on my birthday, I have been given many heartfelt expressions of love. To each and every one of you who have donated to my journey, I say thank you. Thank you for the love. Because of you, I have exceeded my personal goal and now have raised over $3000 for the Breast Cancer 3 day!
For you who were planning to donate by haven't had the time to do it before now, I would ask, as a favor, that you donate to my daughter Allison. In the above picture she is on the lower right. She was 13 at the time I was going through this. It is a hard thing to watch a parent struggle with cancer. Hopefully, it is a life affirming thing to see them not only survive cancer, but thrive in it's wake. Allison will be traveling from Denver to walk with me in the 3 day. She has $1600 more to raise before she hits her minimum required to walk. You can donate to her at http://the3day.org/goto/Allison
And do me one more favor. Do not wait until someone is sick to let them know you care. Let people know everyday, just how much you appreciate them. Make the most of every moment.
THANKS VICKI, KEN and DEBI for that special birthday 13 years ago. I love you.