Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gathering for the Komen 3-Day for the Cure

On September 23, I was jolted awake at 3:40 by my wake-up call in my Arlington hotel room. I came to life quickly and shortly thereafter, had shaved, showered, dressed, and eaten breakfast. After packing and checking out, I boarded the bus at 4:45 for the 15-20 minute ride to Nationals Stadium. There, I joined several thousand others gathering for the start of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Already, I was impressed how well organized everything was. A large team of volunteers was in place to help with information and load luggage. I quickly found the right truck to load my duffle, packed with sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, and clothing and gear for the next three days. It was still totally dark at 5:15 when we all arrived, with the opening ceremony still more than an hour away. People milled around chatting with one another, checking out the three day store, and relaxing.

I walked through the small Komen store. My goal was to find a temporary tatoo for my face, but they had none. I bought 3-Day pin for my hat, and a deep pink wrist band that said "60 miles. I can do that." I asked if they had any Komen 3-Day tatoos or pink ribbon tattoos, but they didn't . But a young woman said she had a pink ribbon sticker, and kindly offered to give it to me. It lasted all day, but washed off in the shower that night. Since I didn't have anything pink to wear, I wore this with pride and gratitude. I think it looked pretty good on me.

There was a table with pink stickers. We could take one and write a message on it. Here is what I wrote in memory of my sister Ann, now departed nearly four months. It is still hard to believe after how hard she fought.

The pink circular stickers were placed on a large white wall. Ann's is on the upper right.

After resting for a bit on the ground, it was almost time for the opening ceremony. There was a threat of rain, but all was still dry. After 172 days of waiting, my three day adventure was about to begin.

No comments: