Monday, May 5, 2008

Susan G. Komen

Here are the pictures I talked about last night.

Before I share them I would like to share a little about the walk with you.
1999, the year mom was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she decided to do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure which at the time was held in my hometown of Edina, at Southdale Mall. Two of moms sisters, her 82 year old mother, my step father Bruce, my brother and sister in law, myself, Jim and Mantha joined her. We walked the 5K (3.1 miles) and then went to brunch, and planned the next years event.

2000, we were all feeling great! Mom was cancer free, and more people joined us for the event. This year mom did more research, and we got even more involved.

2001, we didn't know it yet, but it was her last walk. Mom's sister M was diagnosed in January, so we were now walking in honor of two very important women. Mom was given a clean bill of health at Valentines Day. Jim and I had just built a new house, and she had just thrown me a surprise 30th party in our new home. Her sister from Colorado was joining us this year with her family, and the event started taking on a whole new meaning to our family.

2002, no one walked. We were all still numb from her loss, and I was getting married 5 days later. There were pangs if guilt, but we knew she would forgive us.

2003, moms sister C was diagnosed. On moms birthday her window was dedicated at the Catholic Church of her hometown. That same weekend was the Susan G. Komen. Some of them walked in her hometown, but I wasn't ready just yet.

2004, I finally decided I was being selfish and making up too many excuses, so we packed up the family and started a new annual tradition.

Mother's Day 2005

This was the second year that Jim and I did the walk in HL. It was two years after moms window dedication at the Catholic Church, but one of the first times I was able to actually walk up to it and really look closely at it. Her loss has always been hard for me. Especially this time of year.

This photo started the group picture taking at the end of the walk. Interestingly, at the end of the walk, I was trying to get some alone time, so rather than take a right to go to grams for brunch, I took a left to go sit by her window. I never looked back. But when I got to the window, and sat down I heard a lot of talking. Turns out everyone followed me. So much for "alone time". But it started a great tradition.

Here is Mantha in front of moms window - she looks just like my mom in this picture. If you are Catholic, you will recognize the Sacred (bleeding) Heart. Her name is to the upper right of the heart. The same gentleman who made the window in her memory used the remaining pieces of glass to make a helicopter for my step father Bruce who was a full time Sgt in the Army Reserves. He was stationed out of St. Paul working with, training on, and flying Black Hawk helicopters. This year we are going to place the helicopter next to moms window - at least for photo's if not permanently (if the church will allow it - there is 4-6" between the pane of clear glass and the stained glass window itself).

Mothers Day 2006

Notice the chick with the orange frizzed out curly hair? Yep, not proud of it. Also notice the smartalec kid with her tongue hanging out? Yep, she is mine. Like mother like... wait, thats not right... ;)

This is the last time Bruce walked with us. You will see why when you read about the next picture! ;)

Mothers Day 2007

Best laid plans I call this one. See we planned on moving the walk to Memorial Day weekend because it was also graduation weekend, and the whole family would be down then. But the day before, we had a hard time not doing the walk on Mothers Day, so at the last minute we gathered up everyone who was around and did the walk on MD. You will notice Bruce is missing from this one. Well, we had a little part-ay the night before, and while we knocked on his motorhome in the morning, there was no waking his ass up!

We then agreed that we would walk again on Memorial Day. But you know. There was this party. And it had beer and stuff. And it went really late into the night. And well, no one got up to walk! hehehehe See, "best laid plans" suits this one perfectly.

See Jadon sitting on the wall pouting? Well, yeah... see I am holding a child that isnt him, and even at 4, it can really bum you out.

I love this picture. It is of three of moms sisters and her mother. M in the pink was diagnosed in 2001. M2 and C2 are the only two of the five girls that have been blessed enough to not have the disease. We pray every day that it will stay that way. Gram turned 90 5 months before this picture - doesn't she look great? Someday soon I will share the wonder of my gram. She is amazing. She did the most selfless thing when my mom was ill. And I will never forget it.

Mothers Day 2008

This weekend, we will all gather again. We will walk from grams house in a circle around the town and end 3.1 miles later at the steps of the Catholic Church, where we will reminisce, celebrate and build up our appetites for a great brunch back at grams house! I will have pictures of this year on Sunday!

I have to share this picture with you because it is part of the joy in my life.

Yes, that is my 40 year old husband riding my 4 year old sons bike during the 2007 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Poor kid. hehehehe

And when I am done sharing this years walk with you, I will start to share my role as Chair of our local Relay For Life. I know, I am crazy!

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