It took me 4 years but finally figured out a way to celebrate her, not because of her illness, but because she had gone through it and had pulled herself out of it.
It is just 5 kilometers of my thousands, but I honestly loved taking part in the Get Your Rear in Gear Savannah walk. My daughter who is 4 years old and I used my cell phone to snap pictures so my mother could follow our journey live on Facebook.. I started taking pictures on Friday at the packet pick-up of the t-shirts for “Team Nonna.” On race day I took pictures of her granddaughter, Aisha, running for her, of Aisha grinning with her medal, of the inspiring doctors and patients and of the wonderful crowd.
She has had 4 colonoscopies since and is scheduled for another.
I honestly felt mad at one moment of the pre-race speech when someone said something to the line of “too often colon cancer is considered something to be ashamed about, to not talk about” and I wished so much my mother could have been there to hear it and to feel part of that bright green energy. I wish someone had said that to her back in 2009.
I took pictures of the mile 1 and the mile 2 signs, tagged my mother and posted them as I was surrounded by happy faces, by children, men and women of all ages just smiling; it was wonderful.
There were kiddie wagons decorated and celebrating the people who fight it, the memory of those who faught it and it felt like it was not about the cancer, it was about the grandmas, the wives, the mothers, fathers, grandpas, men and women; it was a celebration of them.
See,in Italy there is no ribbon for cancer to display on your car, no Facebook page. It’s a whole different take, not one to be bright green unfortunately.She told me just yesterday someone gave her attitude for trying to book her fifth colonoscopy with a Doctor’s note apparently not written correctly …so no, definitly no celebration.
If only she had been there herself. But she was, in one way, even if it was the Facebook way.
I saw so many “in memory of” tags on participants that it brought tears to my eyes because I have my wonderful mother. My children and I are so lucky and so proud of her.
Next year I hope she will be able to come here or that I will find a way to get her here so she can wear the green shirt the ladies at the registration booth gave me for her and she can finally share her story and feel that wonderful energy.
I must have done something right because on March 3 my mother’s Facebook status read: “What a beautiful person my daughter is”.
I would like to say thank you to all the wonderful people who cheered us on from the start to the end, who gave us snacks and drinks and safety pins and medals, to Ms Steinlage who even before the race was answering my emails, to the many volunteers who handed me t-shirts and towels and said well done to 900 faces at the finish line. I wish I could do this every weekend.
I wish my mother could do this every weekend.
See you all next year.