So, tomorrow night is the Relay for Life and our team has been busy getting ready. This year's theme for our site is "fantasy". That is a fairly broad theme but most teams are going with fantasy movies so we chose "The Wizard of Oz".
A number of relays ago, I designed a facade made of luan that could be slipped over the posts of a tailgate canopy. It is in 3 pieces so it is easy to move and store. Over the years, this facade has see a number of different presentations (a Spanish hacienda, Raiders of the Lost Ark hut, etc) and this year is no exception. This year it will serve as the entrance to the Emerald City. Since I had so many other things going on this year, my daughter and her family took over the re-make-I can't wait to see it!
There are so many things to think of that I begin making lists many weeks ahead. Then, I begin piling things by the front door as the day gets closer. This is the pile as we speak but the chairs, rope, "repair" kit and tent are already in the trunk. Each hour during the night, there is a themed lap and the more people each team has dressed appropriately, the more spirit points your team will get. That means boxes and boxes of props. And who do you think they usually look to first? Yeah, the hoarder of anything craft, holiday or costume-yep, ME! And I must say, I don't usually disappoint. Let's face it-I have been around awhile and seen almost everything come and go through my house-mostly come as as soon as I throw something away, I will need it...hence, most things just kind of find a happy home and live out their lives in the back of one of my closets. I spend a lot of time trying to remember where I have "stored" some of this stuff but, in the end, I usually come through. Even down this year to a Toto and basket-although my Toto is really the American Girl dog Coconut and white not dark gray. Guess the idea is if it is a dog in a basket and he is hanging out near people dressed like Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion, people will forget what color he is really supposed to be.
This is Caitlin's story board that we display at our site to let people know our story and "our reason to relay". It is always wonderful when Caitlin can be there and people can meet her as she serves as a great encouragement to people who have recently had their children diagnosed and are feeling a bit overwhelmed and terrified-the message of the night is always one of hope and what better ambassador could you have than a family that "has been there"!
The idea of the relay is to have at least one person from each team walking the track all night long. In the past, each team had to design a baton for their team member to carry but this year they asked us to design a cape with our team name and motto. My grand daughter Hannah came up with this idea and I put it together. We used a rainbow for "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and a check list for what Dorothy and her friends were in search of.
Think about us tomorrow night. Even though this is a pretty big undertaking for, quite frankly, the absolute worst time of the year always for our family, it is something we all believe in so strongly. There is almost no one any more who is not touched by this horrible disease in some way. It is a time to give of ourselves in the hope of some day truly finding a cure. Until then, there are new treatments being found every day. And, it is a time of remembrance. To honor the survivors and to remember others. That is really brought home when the entire stadium is darkened and the luminarias are lit. So much to be thankful for. So many people to remember. This year I will be honoring Caitlin and Becky and remembering so many-especially my very good friend Suzie whom we lost just a few months ago. These people are the reason we relay!