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Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt - Tell us the story of a piece of jewelry you own. Where did it come from, and what does it mean to you?

My gold loveknot earrings, the small ones in the Tiffany box, are special.   I won them in a raffle.  No biggie, except that the raffle took place at Relay for Life.

For those who don't know, Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society event.  The objective is to form teams, and each team is expected to take turns walking around a track all night long. 

It was June 2007, the first year our school district held this event.  We held the event at my daughters' high school, the one where the football field is dead center in the middle of the track.  At one end of the track was a stage, where the politicians spoke and the school groups performed.  At the other end of the track were the vendors, the raffle tables, etc.  The middle of the field, of course, was tent city.

Becca was a freshman that year and Jen was a junior.  Becca was all enthused about the event because her dance team was scheduled to perform early in the evening, her good friend was one of the girls chosen to sing at the Survivor Dinner, and her group of friends were anxious to camp out on the football field all night.    Jen had no interest in camping out, but she came for the festivities in the evening and left at midnight.

I was an emotional mess that night. 

I'd been diagnosed with uterine cancer in February 2005.  I'd had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.    And all through the hell that came with treatment, rthe American Cancer Society had been supportive.  May I say again how much I appreciated their progrma Look Good, Feel Better?  It saved my sanity in that difficult time.

By June 2007 I was no longer actively treating the disease, my hair had grown back and I was ready to "give back" by participating in the Relay.

I went to the Survivors' Dinner and got the deep purple shirt that identified me as a survivor.    Smiled my way through the dinner.

And nearly broke down in tears a short time later. 

You know the custom, the survivors take the first lap of the Relay by themselves.  We walked to "IRun for Life" by Melissa Etheridge.  Not only is it a song about survival -- Melissa is "one of us" -- but it got a lot of airplay in the spring of 2005, and I heard it almost every day as I was driving to and from my treatments. 

I barely made it around the track that first lap. Not out of weakness, mind you, but because I was overwhelmed by emotion. 

The raffle winners were announced shortly after midnight, and I got to claim those beautiful earrings.  I think about that night every time I wear the earrings.

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