My name is Diann Smith. My family and I honored the five year passing of my sister Julie Link Daniels on July 26th by gathering four generations of relatives and walking the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, IN. We were all decked out in purple shirts, her favorite color. It was a beautiful summer day – very warm and sunny! First, we gathered at the cemetery to place fresh flowers on her grave and join together in prayer. We then had all the children take turns reading messages that each family had written to Julie and these messages were attached to purple balloons. After reading the message, each child released the balloon to the heavens and boy, did we ever feel her presence!
The balloon my sister’s children released to the skies at first looked as if it wasn’t going to make it, for they had tied an extra long message for her onto the balloon and it was pulling the balloon down a bit. It would rise and fall, rise and fall and finally, my sister’s son said, “Don’t worry, because my Mom will still see it!”
The angels up above must have enjoyed that, because that balloon finally took off!
After that, we drove over to the Monon Trail and walked about an hour in her memory. We were quite the sight – all 38 of us walking in purple and honoring such a beautiful person. We were thrilled when people stopped us and asked about our shirts and what cause we were supporting.
The family photo represents four generations of our family. The oldest participant is 87 years old and the youngest is 15 months. Our group included Julie’s husband & children, her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, brother-in-law and sister-in-laws!
We thank the Colon Cancer Coalition for their help in creating our t-shirts and for their support and inspiration. It was an event we’ll never forget.
The Coalition thanks Diann and all of Julie’s family for honoring her in this special way and for their very generous gift to the Coalition.