Monday, January 3, 2011

Defining Moment

Prompt: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.
Prompt Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice
The Year the Swallows Came Early

I would have to say that signing up for that Cancer Awareness Walk last May would have to be a defining moment for me.  For so long, I had resigned myself to my bedroom, watching TV, and trying to "distract" myself from the pain as best I could.  I probably don't have to tell you that this left my psyche in a sad state of affairs.

my momma and me

When my mom got diagnosed with cancer last January, it was sort of a wake-up call for me.  I watched her go through several stages of grief, but she never let herself stay in one stage for too long.  She felt her feelings, and then decided to live as best she could.  Now, why in the world couldn't I do that???

we made our own shirts
So I decided to start.  I looked for the next available fundraiser for Lung Cancer; it was only a week away and it involved climbing several flights of stairs and had an optional, rigorous training schedule.  So the next time I went to chemo with my mom, I saw a brochure in her doc's office for a 1-2 mile walk to raise money for Cancer Awareness.  Though it wasn't specifically tied to Lung Cancer (and my mom really wants to get the word out that you don't have to be a smoker to get Lung Cancer), I decided I would do it.

I called my sisters and told them about it; we decided I would be the team captain.  This really gave me a sense of purpose again.  It may seem silly, but I hadn't really done anything outside of my own head and bed for two years, and this made me feel like I was helping people again.  I started sending out e-mails and setting up a fundraising page and forcing myself to walk, if just a little (like around the block), each day.

yes, we are dorks- big ones

We ended up a little short of our fundraising goal, but I learned so much.  I learned that I can contribute in my own way.  I learned that I can walk; it may not be running (which I miss terribly), but it is more than laying in bed, wishing.  I learned that I can still make a difference in this world if I just take the time to step away from the pity parties I was so used to throwing in my honor.

And... I just saw a billboard when I was taking my son home yesterday that was announcing the 2011 Lung Cancer Awareness Fundraiser.  Yes, it's the stair-climbing one, but if I start training now, and listening to my body so that I don't overdo it, and go at my own pace, I know that I can help my mom spread awareness about this devastating disease. 

this post a part of Reverb10: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


  1. Awesome story, Emily. Way to get past your own barriers and spread the word about such an important cause! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thank you, Muse! It's not always easy, but she helps me see the positive in so many situations.