Last night (or this morning for that matter) marks my 9th Relay For Life (RFL) i’ve participated in. When I moved back to Minnesota from California I was at a parade where they were promoting RFL, and I decided right then that THAT was something I wanted to do, and have been Relaying ever since. Unfortunately each year we add new people to the folks we walk for, but we’re still walking and not giving up the fight, or the hope that someday nobody else will hear those words, “Its Cancer”.
The past few weeks in Minnesota have been terribly hot with temps hovering around the 90s with dew points in the high 60s and 70s, but not yesterday. It was brisk and cool with dew temps barely flirting with 50, and temps in the 60s. Frankly it was a welcome break, but with the scattered rain a lot of people didn’t show up last night. So I would say last nights Relay was intimate. (But my team was still there!).
Jason and little miss stopped by to say hi, walk a few laps and put in a few bids at the silent auction. Later when I went back to check on the bids I noticed the bids had gone WAY up. So I decided to lock in on this fleece blanked my daughter had wanted, and also realized it would keep me warm over night when I wasn’t walking. So I upped the bid sheet and I ended up having the winning bid! Horray!
The ceremonies were wonderful and walking got underway. We again got our walking punch “cards” to keep track of laps and miles and was well on my way for 10 miles. I walked miles 1-4, ran miles 5-7, and then walked the last three. While I walked I thought about all of the people that I Relay for. One lap per person until I got to my Grandma Eilleen whom I’ve never met. I thought about her for lap after lap. About how cancer robbed me of ever knowing her.
Some Short videos & pictures here: http://instagram.com/mnlindseya
We were able to fill out these cards titled “Messages to Heaven” which I filled out. It said something to the affect, “Dear God. Please give this to my Grandma Eilleen. I really wish I would have gotten to meet you. I often wonder if I have your nose, or your laugh, or kind ways…” I asked God to hug all of my aunts and uncles, other grandparents, and friends. I also asked that he would take Tyler in and love him, and keep him. In the morning they tie these messages to balloons and release them up to God.
I thought about going for 15 miles, but that last mile 9 to 10 was very exhausting, and I ended up going back to my “campsite” on the football field to rest. Temps dropped down to about 50 degrees and it was MIGHTY brisk. I am pretty sure as I told others that I believe I “contracted” hypothermia. Of course not really, but it was cold.
We woke up just in time for the balloon release which was magical, and moving, and emotional. I stood there and watched the beautifully colored balloons fade into the morning grey sky and disappear into the clouds. It was a wonderful way to end the Relay.
I got in my car turned the heat on high, heated seats on high and rode that way home the whole way. Climbed into bed with my husband and daughter, and slept until 2:30 p.m.
I’m not sure what today will bring, but I have a cup of coffee and baileys, a fire in the fireplace (no joke), and a whole lot of blessed memories from last night!