Growing up with a mom who has cancer is both not as horrible as some people construe it to be and a lot worse than some make it seem. Given that the last time I saw my mother was when I was seven, a.k.a. nine years ago, I often times struggle with what it truly was like for me. Was it awful and full of sickness, tears, doctors, a vague understanding, and then a knowledge that I will never see, talk, or hear from her again? Yes, most definitely.
However, that’s not entirely true. I still see her continue to walk with me through my daily life, through the strenuous tasks high school presents me, to coaching a U7 soccer team, to starting my blog, to traveling across the globe to meet her pen pal, and everything I am involved in. When I say she is with me, I do not mean in a spiritual sense or physically or mentally. She is there in the good memories and in the people her life has affected. One of those major ways is through Celebrate Life.
Every year I watch hundreds of people try and cram together on Dog Beach and my aunt and her crew work so hard throughout the year to see this through. This project is not something that affects one or two people, but has changed our entire community and has helped many people for many years.
As people age, I believe that they begin to understand that it is not the large, life changing events that matter so much as the little things. In life, it’s the those things that are most pleasing, but are also the most difficult to conquer. Celebrate Life is an organization that aids people in the little things, from gas to groceries, the stresses that get overlooked when it comes to expenses that are part of the daily routine of a cancer patient. This is one of the things that makes it so incredibly unique, but also so incredibly effective.
The people who make up this team are a united front against cancer and battle constantly against the challenges it brings. It never ceases to amaze me with what they do for the area with all of its people. They never stop with their hard work and do not pause, helping everyone they can.
Celebrate Life means to me the continuation of my mother’s understanding and empathy of the struggles of disease and pursuit of a world not so wound up in concern, budgets, tears, and a fear of the unknown; ultimately it is the continuation of my mother herself, and I am so proud of what it has become.
If you are in Sandpoint on the second weekend of August, make sure to register!