It’s that time of year again. Relay for Life reminds me what a precious gift life is. At the Survivor Reception, tears moistened my eyes as an American Cancer Society volunteer handed me a white survivor T shirt and placed a white and purple survivor sash on me. These items reminded me that I’ve been cancer-free now for nine and a half years. Hurray. At the reception, I sat with a lady I know and her husband. They joined in the celebration because her husband is cancer-free too. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of chicken, coleslaw, baked beans, and cookies. Both my friend’s husband and I won door prizes. This added to the festivity as we got up to pick our door prizes from the long tables full of wrapped gifts. We had no idea what we had selected, but we were both pleased with our surprise gifts. He unwrapped his prize and found a large can of Virginia peanuts. I found a basket full of lotions and creams. After the reception, we lined up for the survivor lap. The excitement built as the music played, and the other people lined up on both sides of the track. I thought I would burst with joy as I carried the vertical banner for the survivor lap. As we survivors walked around the track, people on both sides of it clapped, cheered, waved different kinds of pom poms or flags, called us by name, and cried with us. The highlight of the evening occurred when the lights went out, and the luminaries flickered in the breeze. On one side of the track the word, “CURE,” lit up the darkness. I walked in silence across the field to capture a picture of that sign. Thank you, God, for the gift of life.
Copyright © May 26, 2010 by Yvonne Ortega