Ways to make a grown woman, and the occasional man, cry

Picture of Annie's Anemic Leukemics team in costume with lanterns and bannerLast night was the special Light the Night Walk. Annie’s Anemic Leukemics were 20 strong, with many other virtual supporters there in spirit. I only cried 4 times, excluding the many times I choked up seeing a little tyke with leukemia.

Participants sported three different coloured lanterns: gold for those walking in memory of someone; red for those walking in support of a survivor; and white for survivors. (I’d say the white complemented my anemic complexion.) As a white lanterned gal, I feel like a guest of honour at this event, standing amidst so many others who are fighting a similar fight. (Despite my steadfast anonymity, I’ve now given you a 50/50 chance of determining who I am in the picture above.)

The tears started before we even got out of the gate as my amazing team assembled for a picture, all adorned in the ridiculous clown attire J. had selected to distinguish us. At that moment, I was overwhelmed by the incredible community of support I had around me.

We white lanterners were called on stage at one point during the pre-walk inspirational speeches. People moved aside, like the parting of the Red Sea, to allow us to approach the stage. Being surrounded by fellow survivors looking out onto a crowd of supporters was incredible. Of course I had to cry then, a reaction which may have seemed incongruent with my clown attire.

But, ever the clown (child?) I am, as we were leaving, I faced the men around me and said: “Why do you guys always leave it to the women to do the crying?” A kind fellow nearby smiled and responded: “Oh, I was crying a minute ago too.” Then he gave me a side hug (which, by the way, is nothing like a Trump hug), and we went our separate ways. Thank you, Mr. Cancerous, for that moment of connection.

Then we walked on that beautiful night, with a steady stream of multicoloured lanterns ahead and behind us. The darker it got, the more spectacular the sight. Three kilometres later, we approached our starting point.

As a white lanterner, each year I have received a white rose as I’ve neared the finish, usually by a kind volunteer. This year they upped their game: a bevy of firefighters were there to distribute those roses. I squealed with delight at the sight of all those handsome men in uniform (no women, sadly), like any 5-year-old child would, and accepted my rose with gratitude and awe. A few tears snuck out when the one who gave me my rose said: “Keep up the good fight.” You would have cried too, trust me.

Oh, maybe I had a fifth occasion for tears, but it was earlier today at Jelly’s PALS behavioural assessment. I may be mistaken, but I believe Jelly passed all of the challenging stations, including the one that involved treats strewn on the ground. (Thank goodness there weren’t any counters.) Jelly was a star and, at the end, she received her official PALS bandana. I couldn’t be prouder of my little girl. Watch for us soon at a hospital or retirement home near you.

Jelly in the back of the car in her blue PALS bandana

 

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12 thoughts on “Ways to make a grown woman, and the occasional man, cry

  1. Now I am crying. How beautiful and uplifting. You are such a blessing and an inspiration.

    Thank you today, and always, for sharing your journey.

    Love and hugs. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now you made me cry! I would have been there for you had we not been out of town. I am sponsoring our dear mutual friend to help the cause. You go girl, I promise I will be there next year with you! Hugs KG

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  3. So proud to have been with your team last night. So proud you and jelly will be there to comfort others in the future. My Midas would never make it past the treats. You go girls !

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  4. Sorry I could not have been there with you and your team! It sounds like an awesome and awe-inspiring evening. And speaking of awesome: I am so impressed with Jelly! ❤️😊❤️

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