I am the cure.
For what ails me.
Some weeks are that way, where The Shit seems to flourish.
That seemingly eternal anguish makes me all the more appreciative for those times like Mother’s Day week, when I noticed plenty of Happy.
Honestly, until Friday, I thought I was going to have to pull this entry from my photo gallery…
But, then…Happy happened…
My perennials survived last week’s frost that killed my newly purchased hanging baskets
One of Beauty’s college roommates was throwing this out.
She rescued Prada purse/backpack for Moi!
An impromptu trip to Niagara, after Big Guy’s Saturday tournament.
Family togetherness, nature’s endless beauty, and pure relaxation…
And then today, the day I’ve been training for since November, when I had this idea that I wanted to do something big before my upcoming 50thbirthday.
I wanted to try something I’ve never done before, just to say I could and did do it.
I’ve been walking for exercise for several years now, but I haven’t run since I was in high school.
When I ran with plastic bags over me and long sweatpants in the middle of a southern summer.
Running because my sister had discovered my Bulimia secret and told my mom, who’d begged me to stop.
Running because I some extremely misguided notion that I was fat.
And I feared becoming fatter.
Fast forward to my adult years and I couldn’t run more than thirty seconds without feeling like my lungs were going to implode.
But last October that all changed when I saw a friend’s post about the c25k app she’d started using.
My gung-ho spirit lasted about two weeks before I shelved it.
Where it sat for a month, until a friend asked me to help her lose weight. “I can only do it with you,” she said.
Here’s how that works: She loses weight. I gain what she sheds.
Nonetheless, I told her about the training program, and my dream was reborn.
My first 5K.
My enthusiasm must have been infectious because, before I knew it, I had five other people saying they were going to do it with us.
I had my own little team of dreamers.
“Let’s call ourselves The Believers,” I said. “We can put, ‘I Believe’ on the back of the shirts.”
Despite a surgery setback in the fourth month, and the loss of four weeks of running, I forged ahead with a modified plan.
Even after my little band of enthusiasts began fading away.
Believing my friends were the ones that had kept me going, I almost abandoned my own vision.
Until I remembered why I had started in the first place: To do something amazing. For myself.
Beauty agreed to join me with a target of finishing better than her first ever 5k time that she set last week during her college’s run.
My objective was to finish in under an hour.
Warren and Big Guy, who had three soccer games this weekend and is dealing with a knee injury, joined us by volunteering.
Young, old, women, men, women, and this adorable gal gathered at the event site.
The throngs of people moved forward when the whistle blew, and we were off.
As the masses raced ahead of me, I focused on my breathing and willed my girl a successful run. “Go Beauty, go,” I thought several times.
Somewhere shortly before the one mile mark, the leaders passed me on their returning pass.
I found myself clapping and cheering as they flew by.
One leg of the run meandered through a residential neighborhood where countless residents sat on their porches to watch and root for us runners.
I became emotional as the full impact of a community’s involvement came into focus.
Police officers, emergency personal, and people of every race, religion, and sexual orientation joined together for one cause.
To help cure cancer.
Several families passed me by, babies sound asleep in strollers, elementary-aged children running side by side with adults.
The minute before I could collect my camera, I watched this mother jogging while carrying her daughter on her back.
For a moment, I wished I had a partner to keep me moving, to keep me inspired.
And then it dawned on me.
I had nearly a thousand supporters.
My nostalgia turned to an overwhelming sense of joy as I approached this group of cheerleaders.
“Halfway there!!” they shouted. “You are the cure! You are the cure!”
My eyes welled with tears and a lump stuck in my throat.
I am one person in a collective body that is The Cure.
One person at a time, we are making a difference.
I amthe cure, I thought as I struggled not to cry.
I amThe Cure.
Each one of us is The Cure for our individual calamity, for our community, and for whatever cause we choose to support.
In whatever capacity we can confer.
It takes a global village.
I headed over to the volunteer station to find Warren, who was speaking with an elderly woman who was looking for the Survivor’s Tent.
I offered to help her locate it.
As I led her to find this exhibition area, I found out that she is ninety-two years old.
And a breast cancer survivor of fifty-one years.
After the event, we headed on over to the last athletic contest of the weekend.
I couldn’t help but notice the few Dandelion seeds that rose above the freshly mowed fields.
I smiled as I remembered the childhood amusement of making wishes on the wafting strands.
Make a wish…
Make it Happen…
And tonight, as I prepared the photos for this piece, I couldn’t help but notice how my runner’s bib pulled it all together.
One of the Susan G. Komen Foundations mottos is: I AM THE CURE.
They believe it, too…
I am The Cure, not just in my breast health, but in all of my life’s encounters.
What about you? What Happy Happens moments did you have this week? Have you ever taken on a challenge that had a profound effect on you? Is or has someone close to you faced breast cancer? Share your story here in honor of all those who have suffered from the disease, and all those who have survived.