Where to begin...given that this is my first blog I wanted to make sure it was something special to me. Something that mattered. I thought long and hard about what I would start my blog with and the more I thought about it the more I decided it had to be something personal and something that would show what I truly am about.
This year we got heartbreaking news that one of our dearest family friends had been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. I hadn't spoken with Pam in about a year due to each of us having families and life to get to and we let each other slip through our life cracks. Something I deeply regret. However, when she contacted me to let me know that she'd been diagnosed I was initially devastated. Oddly enough it was her attitude that determined my altitude in this situation. She has been so positive about her diagnosis. Although I am sure she has bad days and she's facing horrible challenges that no wife, mother, daughter, woman should ever have to face, she has done so with a smile and with so much courage. I have yet to witness a true complaint or to hear her ask "why me?" She credits her courage to the support of her sweet family. Her supportive husband and two adorable (and adoring) children are her strength. Beyond that she has her parents, brothers and much extended family and friends fighting this battle with her.
So when an opportunity arose for me to walk in the 2013 American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk here in Hampton Roads, I knew I had to walk for her. I also knew I couldn't just walk. That would NOT be good enough to represent our Pam! No ma'am! That just wouldn't do. She wouldn't have approved. I had to get all dolled up. So off I went to walk in her name in my pink feather boa, my pink tutu, pink fingernails, pink eyeshadow, my pink head band and my pink water bottle in hand. I even had a co-worker spray the tips of my braids pink. I wasn't going to represent my beautiful friend half way.
I learned about the human spirit while I was there. The stories of loss and of survival were absolutely amazing! As I stood listening to the amazing stories I had the overwhelming feeling that Pam was going to be alright. No matter what she has her family, her faith and a joy for life and living it. She can get through anything with all of those things on her side.
Pam - I hope you know every day how loved you are, how admired you and how much of my hero you are! You are rocking this cancer thing and kicking it's butt! I'm so honored to call you my friend.
The pictures of me were taken by my beautiful daughter Ashley! Although not all of the pictures in this blog are technically perfect, they perfectly captured the festivities and the spirit of the walk. Here are the pictures from that beautiful day:
The survivor wreath and survivor cupcakes were donated and made by Farm Fresh Markets
Getting personal (pictures of me with close friends, my daughter and the crowd)
My warrior friend Pamela Ray and her warrior family
**Husband: Tanner * Son: Jacob * Daughter: Aubrey**
(I did not take this picture)
I love you girl!!!