I attended Relay for Life to participate in the Zumba at Relay. My Zumba instructor does this every year, and when I am able to attend extra Zumba classes to support her and to get me moving more, I go. I actually met her at Relay several years ago. I have come a long way with my Zumba since then, and I will be continuing to go to Zumba as long as I am able to go. I do what I can, and I am feeling the rewards of stress relief, getting stronger and healthier.
So many people are affected by the ugliness of cancer in their lives. Relay is a fundraiser to help find a cure for cancer, but for many people, it is more than that. It is a chance to reflect on loved ones who have lost the battle. It is a chance to support people you know that are fighting cancer. It is also a chance to celebrate with those who have looked cancer in the eye and beat it. Sometimes more than once.
Members of my family have had cancer. It is something I have learned to live with while trying not to live in fear of it. I have been spending some time with a good friend who is not going to win her fight with cancer. It is hard to face as a friend, but it must be even harder to face as a person with terminal cancer. It makes me sad to know that her time is limited and that her family and friends will feel this too. It is hard, sometimes, to know what to do or say. We are becoming better friends because of this terrible thing that is happening to her. We were friends before, but it is important for me to make sure that I am available to spend time with her now, while she is still here and able to enjoy the company of our friendship.
I went to Relay and did Zumba there. I did not participate in anything else. My focus this year was to go and have a good workout. I promised another friend that passed away that I would take care of myself, and although it wasn’t cancer that he died from, in going I am keeping my promise to him. The first few classes I went to after he died broke my heart. I cried. I fought to finish the classes, and I am still keeping my promise to him every time I go.
I didn’t see the Storm Troopers in the crowd this year. They were at Relay, but I am guessing Darth Vader ordered them to not participate in Zumba. There were a lot of people there. I saw some angel wings, costumes, masks, and a little girl in a princess dress. When Zumba was over, there was a song still playing on the speakers. We all stopped, and the little princess walked over to me and wanted me to hold her hands and keep dancing. So I did. I don’t know her story, if she was sick, or if she was there because of someone else. I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter. When a princess approaches you in a crowd full of people and wants to hold your hands and dance, well, you hold her hands and dance in a circle until she wants to stop. I don’t know who she was, except that she was a princess for Relay. I don’t know why she chose me in a crowd full of people, but she did, and I wasn’t prepared to walk away. That is why I attend Zumba at Relay. You never know what kind of memory you will take home with you, and it somehow makes you feel that even when it seems like the ugliness of cancer is at its scariest, if you are able to support a friend or hold the hands of a princess and share a dance, there is a glimmer of hope. Be present in your life, and do good unto others while you are here. Which left me with the message I am carrying in my heart. Hope.
Most of the pics are from my friend Matty. There are two from Fredericton Relay For Life 2017 Facebook Page, all shared with permission. Why do you Relay?