Without you the ground thaws, the rain falls, the grass grows. Without you the seeds root, the flowers bloom, the children play. The stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly without you. The Earth turns, the sun burns, but I die without you. Without you the breeze warms, the girl smiles, the cloud moves. Without you the tides change, the boys run, the oceans crash. The crowds roar, the days soar, the babies cry without you. The moon glows, the river flows, but I die without you.
** RELAY FOR LIFE, My perspective.
This past weekend was Relay for Life. Even though I was dreading it (because it’s the end of the semester and EVERYONE has a lot going on) I still really enjoyed myself. I have never been that involved with Relay. I was a co-captain for Sigma Kappa and I enjoyed it a lot. Though there were times where I just wanted to cry, we made it through… even better than I thought that we would. We raised over a hundred and fifty dollars more than we were supposed to, and I think that is amazing. All of the girls of the Delta Alpha chapter did a superb job.
What really hit me close to home was the Luminary Ceremony. I have had two grandparents die from cancer, and other people in my life/ family be affected by this horrible disease. This is when I realized Relay for Life was bigger than just me. Bigger than just my sisters. Bigger than I could ever imagine it could be. There was a dancer, her name was Joy, who danced to “Fix You” by Coldplay. I tried my hardest to not to cry, but I couldn’t “face the music” so to speak.
I never met one of my grandfathers and he’s not spoken much about now. It’s too hard for my father to talk about his father and how hard he worked for his family. He served in the Vietnam War and saved all of his money. He didn’t spend a dime. He sent it all back to his family, because they needed it more than he did. He died of esophagial cancer. My mom said that she knew it was the start of the end when he wouldn’t go to the doctor anymore and stopped smoking. He died on Thanksgiving. My dad said that all he remembers is having a silent dinner, and then going to the hospital. Thanksgiving is a special time for my family because of this. Even though my dad is always sad, we still are thankful that we have one another.
My other grandfather, on my mother’s side, died of brain cancer. It spread all throughout his body. It started in his liver and just went everywhere. He fought it for 3 years. Even though I had met him, up until the age of eight, I was scared to death of him. Unbeknown to me I had two years left with him. I had two years to get to know the only grandfather in my life. I guess I tried my hardest. Towards the end of his life, about 6 months before he died, he wrote letters to all 12 of his grandchildren. My letter told me to be a strong young woman. To know that I am beautiful no matter what happens and to love my family and hold them near. I cherish that letter. It’s probably my most prized possession. I’m so glad that I have that to hold on to. It sits in my bedside table in my room at home… now that I think about it, I should probably have my mom lock it up in the safe so if the house ever catches fire, I can still have it. Even though it is signed “grandpa Joe” by my grandmother, I still hold it near and dear to my heart. I had the “symbolic” letter of this at cookie pass. I cried as I am crying now. I appreciate him for that.
I dedicated a luminary to both of my grandfathers. I walked the silent path with some of my closest friends here at Eastern. They saw my pain as I saw theirs and the song posted above, to me, will never viewed the same was. I will always hold a connection with those people that I walked with that night. It was so empowering. It really took me to a different place. I love those people that I walked with and I hope they feel the same way about me. Words cannot describe what I feel right now. I will hold that connection with them forever-at my first relay-at the very first time I became passionate about it.
I want to apply to be on the committee next year. Even though I know at times it is going to be a high-stress situation, I want to better myself. I want to give out to the community and those who felt the same way that I did during that ceremony. I have so many thoughts and ideas and I hope that I can contribute in the way that I would better Relay here at Eastern. I know my experiences with this will last me a lifetime, and motivate me to relay as much as I can.
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