Saturday, April 16, 2011

Walking with Mom

For many years, my mom has been participating in a Relay for Life event. She raises money, she walks for a couple hours, and she decorates luminary bags in memory and support of family and friends who have battled or are battling that disease. When she speaks of the event, of what it feels like for her to be there, she gets kind of a faraway look in her eyes and struggles to explain the experience. Regardless of the words she uses, it’s obvious how much it means to her to be there.

For the first time since Mom began participating in the Relay for Life, I joined her for a while on the track. I was there for the luminary ceremony and the playing of “Taps” by the bagpipes and drum corps. And I felt what (I think) she’d been trying for years to describe, though I too find myself at a loss to truly put my feelings into words. I can tell you that I’m sorry I haven’t been there with her before now.

I thought that I would come home and try and write about my experience with Mom, about the importance of the fundraising, the awareness, the support that the Relay for Life is all about. And while all of that is certainly worthwhile, it’s not what keeps coming to mind.

Mom keeps coming to mind.

My mom is one of those quiet supporters. She gives to so many people. She gives her time. She gives her hand. She gives her ear. She gives her shoulder. She gives her heart. My mom is the most generous person I know, and that quality in her shone so brightly at the Relay. It means so much to her to be there and be part of that.

Mom inspires me more than she knows. I pray to be the kind of mother, wife, sister, and friend that she is. I also pray that Mom always knows and never doubts how much love I have for her, how much I respect her, how much I value her friendship, how much it means to me to be able to call her “Mom.”

I’ll walk with you anywhere, Mom. I’m so proud to be your daughter.

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