We’ve been living in Little Rock for nearly a year now, a fact that is made obvious by the repetition of some yearly events in the same setting. At the end of August, my daughter Carina will turn three. We’ll celebrate with a party at our house. Her second birthday a year ago was the first party we had in our new home. Like all parents, I am amazed by and proud of the growth and development my baby, nay toddler, nay little big person has achieved over the past year.
I’m also gearing up for this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which was the first large event I experienced in downtown Little Rock last fall. To call it a “large event” is an understatement. It was probably the absolute most amazing sporting event I have ever been to. I’m not even sure you classify it as a sporting event so much as a mixture of many things, a culmination of sisterhood, a rally for the greater good, a huge party, a vehicle for awareness, an inspirational journey, a sea of pink, a memorial, therapy, a fundraiser, and a call to action.
There were over 45,000 women that ran or walked in the race. There were thousands of spectators cheering, including bands; firefighters on top of their trucks; people handing out water, beads, leis, and bracelets; kids doing karate; and my favorite, a group of motorcycle riders revving their engines and holding a sign that said, “Save Second Base!” It was so amazing that it was over before I had a chance to really take it all in. I do remember running and feeling thankful that I could run. I thought of the women I was running in celebration of – the fighters, the survivors, and those who will never be forgotten by the loved ones they left behind. I thought of my family and how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband and two fantastic kids.
After the race, I met up with my family and we watched the survivors’ parade, which featured breast cancer survivors dressed all in pink and holding signs that said how long they had been cancer free. It made my skin tingle. As I held tightly to my daughter perched on my shoulders, I said a silent prayer that she will not have to worry about breast cancer – a prayer that all the effort and energy will be fruitful and a cure will be found.
This year, I’m older and wiser, and so am hoping to be able to take it all in a little better. I’ll spend less time looking at my watch during the race, and more time enjoying my surroundings. I’ll head down to the festivities even earlier in the morning, and perhaps stay a little later. I’ll make another year of memories, and in the process, hopefully help put us another stride closer to the finish line in The Race for the Cure. Whether you walk, run, or cheer from the sidelines, I’d love it if you’d join me.