I have watched people die. The hardest thing about it… at the end … is the people who are watching.
Tonight there is someone I know ,only through the 3 day chain, who is dying. I see the same dynamic playing out online. Helpless… we look at the situation and ask for deliverance. When it is obvious there is none, we ask for mercy. People surround the person but also bring with them a need - A need to understand, a need to feel it is in their power to change things. Then ultimately we look to each other to be held up, to be comforted, to help us redirect this lost feeling we have that we can’t quite shake –without someone or something else to focus on.
Cancer is a horrible thief. Just when we think we have it in our sight and we're ready to destroy the destroyer, it finds a way to remind us there is a long, long way to go. Amy was a mother. She was young. We was a 3 dayer who had hoped to walk in 2012. She wasn’t able to make the journey so she asked that a teddy bear, Peanut Butta, take the journey for her.
The bear was carried throughout the 3 days on the back of 3 day walkers who just wanted to honor the wish of a warrior. The dream was this bear , filled with the triumph of the adventure , would lift Amy and heal her.
Tonight she hangs on the edge. The bear is sitting at her side. The magic is not that this bear will heal, but that it is possessed with the combined spirits of other warriors. It is the appropriate companion on this last journey, because and they, understand.
We cannot turn back the clock, or fast forward it to a time where Amy will not die. She will.
All I am left with is this prayer…” I pray that she open her arms for the angels to take her home. That light and grace surround her. That peace come to the hearts of those who love her. That we find an end to this disease.”
Sunday, November 25, 2012
The morning of the last day of the 3 day started with a light rain falling on our pink tent. Luckily it didn't stick around and I only had my pink poncho out briefly before our Sherpas arrived to help take down the tents and take our things away....
Patti along with quite a few other walkers headed to medical to get put together for the final push to the finish. Barbara had some blisters as well and got them all dressed and ready to go.
Walkers made their way out of camp along the damp sidewalks.
As a rainbow hung over the remaining tents.
Walking out of the camp you are filled with a renewed energy knowing this is the last leg of a long journey. As much as you look forward you can't help but reflect back on the training and the amazing two days of the walk so far. I know for me this last day is filled with mixed emotions.
It hard thinking the journey with these great friends is almost at an end....
The walk today took us out of Mission Bay and Pacific Beach...
Along some of the paths we had walked before.
But we were greeted with something new today as a Starbucks store from North County brought down not only coffee BUT BAILEY's Irish Creme.
We toasted our friend Sue Hopper who's birthday it was. She used to love Baileys back in college. We gave her an early call to let her know we were thinking of her.
The community sure didn't let us down on this last day.
Curtiss had borrowed Barbara's phone and installed "Find my Iphone". Now the poor girl will never be able to slip away!
We stopped for a picture with this vintage firetruck and sang "Flaming Mamie" just like it was 1974!
Carol is helping Barbara with her phone....
The Barbies came to say goodbye.
We had the chance to get to know some walkers....
And be moved by others.
Humor is everywhere on the walk and it is much needed as the miles add up.
The dozens of dogs gave us all a grin.
By this time the SD cops were awash in pink.
Our camouflaged man came to cheer us.
What a beautiful pink dog!
Here they come.... just a walking down the trail.
It's hard to count the times when your heart stops just a bit... this was one of them.
Pink dog dancing.
In Old Town a restaurant handed out warm chips and salsa, beans and quesadillas to ALL the walkers.
We needed that as we headed up Juan hill. It's a pretty good hill for day 3.
But we have learned... we will get there. You just dont' give up.
Someone handed out Dumb bell suckers for the dumb hill.
EMTs there to support us
Great sign on day 3 that we saw on Day 2.
At the top with the best of the best.
Yup love those route markers.
Pit stops are good for stretching. Some of us can stretch more than others.
All down hill now as we walk through Hillcrest.
Curtiss and Glenn were waiting for us in a street side restaurant.
Icy beers and burritos
A business handed out pink flamingos all blown up and ready to go.
The last of the liquid courage stops.... lemon drops.
Downtown now we are heading to Petco Park.
There were kids playing music and a drum corp.
Sons and Fathers waiting to give flowers to their walkers.
And some familiar faces giving us a high five.
We did it!
3 days 60 miles.... we did that!
The San Diego Police celebrate Gangnam Style!
We got our victory shirts and got ready to head to the ceremony.
Supporters surrounded the area with signs and flowers.
The support crew including the youth corp lined the way for the walkers.
While Sheri fired up the crowd.
There was a lot to celebrate.
Many congratulations around.
As Sheri reminds the crowd what this is all about.
There are some people who have always known.
The single shoes came off in salute to the survivors.
Survivors represent hope - and that hope brings optimism and the firm belief we ARE creating a world without Breast Cancer. That is worthy of a salute.
As a survivor you are caught between emotions. The pride you feel is for the walk, not your survival. Your survival (at least mine) leave you humbled and reminded that you have a responsibility to those who did not survive. You have a responsibility to those who are fighting now and to your children and their children. Your responsibility is to not only live, but live well.
The 3 day has blessed me with being able to do this - with my best friends.
Patti's Cancer was the kick in the pants I needed to realize this.
Our shared experience in Cancer has PALED in the light of our survival.
We have found how much strength there is in a united front of passionate people who NEVER give up.
There is no fear in me that we will sway from this fight until it is won. And I have no fear we will not win this fight. Breast Cancer's days are numbered and we helped to do that.
All of us.
And we will not forget what we did here in San Diego or the people who stood with us.
But for today... We celebrate.
As we live LARGE!
Here's to us.
To the world we are creating - without Breast Cancer.
We headed back to the hotel for ice packs and pizza. A little wine too.
San Diego 3 day...... in the books.
San Francisco June 21-23, 2013
I very much want you to walk with me.
You can sign up at www.the3day.org
Team:Are We there Yet?
DISCOUNT code CURE2013
Stop after that?
Atlanta October 18-20 2013
If you have questions about training fundraising or anything else ask me!