This past Saturday marked the 13th annual Race for the Cure event in Little Rock. And the first race I've done without my mother. Just four weeks after her death, I expected the race to be hard, but in reality it was very therapeutic.
The morning dawned with a chill in the air, but by the race's end, the temperature had risen, and we enjoyed sunny weather for the remainder of the day. This year saw a record attendance of 43,000+ women, and the excitement was palpable.
Our little group was attired in matching t-shirts designed by one of Mom's coworkers at Angie Grant Elementary. A banner at the bottom read, "In loving memory of Jewell Snyder". The only time I was moved to tears was when my sister-in-law pinned a bib on my back which read, "I race in memory of my mother, Jewell Snyder". I always felt there would come a day when I replaced my "I race in celebration" bib with one in her memory, but I never anticipated that it would be this soon.
Here are some pictures from the day:
Family and friends
Our t-shirts in Mom's memory
Even Bill was there doing what he does best to raise funds for the cure
One of the many adorable pooches walking for a cure
Visiting the cemetery afterward to place a big pink bow on Mom's grave
Breast cancer has already taken too many lives. Chances are if you have not had it yourself, you know someone who has fought this terrible disease. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I'm encouraging every woman I know to have a mammogram if you haven't already this year. And if you're a man, talk to the women in your life about scheduling this simple, yet very important, diagnostic test. No matter what horror stories you've heard about having your mammies checked (or what bad experience you might have had in the past), it's not as bad as having a tumor go undiagnosed.
So, go on, make the phone call. Now. Do it for yourself. Do it for the people you love.