Well, we made it again!!! Not in quite the same way that we have done in the past, but make it we did none the less. Our whole family was there! We were there to support our grand daughter Caitlin - an almost 13 year survivor of liver cancer - and our daughter Becky - a 4 month survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma. And, yes, we were there to support ourselves and everyone else who has lived through hearing the "horrible diagnosis" given to someone they love!
The Relay for Life is a wonderful event that we have done as a family team (Caitlin's Crusaders) ever since Caitlin was first diagnosed. Most years we do it BIG and really go for it. My husband has been the number 1 individual fund raiser every year we have participated and our team has won many awards. But that is really not why we do it. All of the competition is wonderful to get everyone motivated (and it does feel good to "win" recognition now and then) but everyone there is really doing it all to hopefully make a difference to help find a cure! It is truly uplifting to meet others going through the same adventure as you and your family and share stories of love and triumph!
This year was a different year for our family. Between my daughter's diagnosis in early September and my husband's health issues the last few months, I wasn't sure how our family would be able to participate. But Becky and Hannah decided we needed to be a team this year more than ever and pushed us on. They didn't want to give up and so by some miracle, we were all able to be there and share in the joy of the Relay once again. We didn't do a decorated site this year as the planning and preparation for that takes many months but we gathered together, made our donations, walked the laps, shed a few tears but many more laughs and vowed to be back next year in FULL FORM!
The Relay is set up for a good time as well as some education and inspiration thrown in and I always love to see the way the cousins enjoy each other.
Our reason to relay-Becky and Caitlin.
I know it looks like a lot of our relaying involved food - and it did- but it was all bought from the different sites and was part of their fund raising so it was all for a good cause-ha-ha! Besides, we NEED all of that sugar for energy to keep walking!
And that brings me back to the title of today's post. Tradition. It is a word that I use often. I even joke about being buried by the amount of tradition we have in this family. But make no mistake about it, I would not have it any other way. As I read everyone else's blogs about Easter (and yes, St. Pat's, Valentines, etc.) I take great comfort in the fact that so many of us are doing the same things every year, over and over. Sometimes I wonder why we don't mix it up a bit but then I realize....tradition is what keeps us all somehow linked together. It is what takes the grand parents' memories of childhood and passes them to their children and, if you are lucky enough, your children's childhood memories passed on to their children. It grounds us. It makes us know that even in this ever-so-fast changing world we live in, not everything has to change. And so we dye and hunt eggs, make frilly hearts, carve pumpkins and trick-or-treat, etc. It just feels good and is the stuff from which memories are built!
And so, I will very soon take down my Easter decorations and put up my next tradition-spring. Away will go the bunnies and eggs and out will come the birds and nests. And I will once again take comfort in tradition and feel a part of the community of "traditionalists" - and what is wrong with that? Stay tuned.