Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Aunt Glenda



"I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it" --Maya Angelou

I think about her every single day. My pink sneakers have monogrammed on them "In Honor of Aunt Glenda" so how could I not really?! Even if I wanted to try to forget, she is all around me. I eat, sleep and breathe "pink" these days. My mission has become to help in the fight against breast cancer and I find refuge in my surviving community of friends I have met.

Three years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer I found myself in a simple state of shock but there was that part of me that just assumed that everything was going to be fine. Actually, for a while, it seemed it was.

Losing her in February is one of the most impossible things to deal with that I can think of at the moment. I know that one day I will have to say good-bye to many of the people I love and care about but losing Aunt Glenda, well, I can't explain it other than I just miss her.

It was because of her I got involved with the 3-day and it's because of her that I continue to raise money and walk 60 miles at a time. I'm scared about what I'm going to feel this year knowing she's not back home cheering me on. I know she'll be there with me but things have changed and I have to say, I don't like it.

I know my family misses her just as much. She was the older sister to my Aunt Sue and my mom and took care of them when they were younger. She was like a second mother to them as well as being their sister. I know my mom thinks of her every day too and wishes she could still call her for their weekly updates and just to chat like they use to.

I keep playing it over and over in my head wondering if anything else could have been done and honestly, I always come back to the thoughts that maybe there couldn't. Sometimes things in life are going to happen, things out of my control and whether I like it or anyone else likes it, life is going to keep going. I may be forced to keep going but I will continue to remember her and the memories she gave me, not to mention the inspiration to help others. The cancer she had may have overtaken her body but it will never take our memories and the lives we had with her.

I've started going to the farmer's market here in Oxford on a regular basis and every time I eat a fresh cucumber I think of being a kid, sitting at her bar, eating fresh cucumbers from her and Uncle Glen's garden. It's a happy little place I can go for just a glimmer of a second and remember her and see her again. I don't think I can ever stop missing her and I don't think I ever want to try. I like remembering how much she meant to me and how much she meant to so many people. She had the biggest heart and was one of the most giving people on the planet. She loved to keep us up to date on the latest gossip and she was always welcoming to our friends. She had spunk. I don't think anyone in my mom's family doesn't; ) She was someone I always loved to see and she would have done anything in the world I needed her to or her family needed her to. She was simply put, special in every way.

I can't wait to walk 60 miles for her again this year and carry her with me just as I have before. I love you, Aunt Glenda and I will make sure that you are always honored and never forgotten.