Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Relay Luminaries

Relay Luminaries, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, Relay-for-life has come and gone, and it has been a flurry of activity ever since. This year, one of my hopes for last year came true.

I had hoped that a large contingent from our community of H2O in Morgantown would join in the event in Parkersburg. Last year it just didn't work out for a number of people. But this year, in spite of high gas prices, we had a wonderful group of people come and rally around the event.

One of my favorite parts of the relay event is the lighting of the luminaries after dark. There's something powerful about seeing lights all around the city park pond either honoring or memorializing people who have fought against cancer. It's such an ugly disease, but it is truly beautiful to see people fight and overcome it.

Last year, my mom was in ICU and had just been taken off a ventilator when we lit luminaries in her honor. I had hoped that our participation in the relay would be a shot in the arm and a boost of morale for her--I think it was.

This year, as we walked we remembered her. We remembered her fight, as well as the fights of many others. For me, it was a very strange feeling being at the relay event this year. Mom is with Jesus now. Cancer is still a problem, but more and more people are winning the battle against it.

I miss my mom a lot. I miss her wisdom and counsel. I miss her laughter and her care. I miss watching tv with her while she would knit or make something with her hands. I miss her fearlessness, even in the face of cancer.

So Friday night we lit some candles to remember her. I was so hopeful last year for her return to health. I think all of us around her were.

It's strange how our society get's weird about the idea of grief. I grieve the loss of my mom, but I also rejoice. I'm saddened by her departure, but I'm overjoyed at her arrival before our King.

May we all walk through this life with that perfect mixture of sadness over the way things are, and hope for the way things one day WILL be. More than that, may our hope motivate us to be a sign of that change right here in the present.

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