Friday, October 7, 2011

The Remembrance Tent

At camp during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure was a really moving feature: the Remembrance Tent. This was an area with white - not pink - tents set up to remember those who have passed on due to breast cancer.

Outside on a little knoll was a row of small white tents set up as a semicircle. Each tent represented a city that holds a 3-Day Walk: Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and so forth. On each tent is written messages to someone who participated in a 3-Day Walk in that city who has since died from breast cancer.

The Remembrance Tent itself was set up with its front facing the semi-circle of small white tents. This tent was much larger and did not have messages written on it.

Inside the Remembrance Tent was one last small white tent - the one dedicated to Washington, DC's walk. It, too, was covered in written messages. At the far end of the tent was a long table with several notebooks and pens, some flowers and little lamps, and a box of tissues. Four or five chairs were placed at the table. On all four walls of the tent were hung pictures of women who had participated in various walks who were now dead. I spent some time quietly looking at each picture. Then, I sat at the table and wrote a message to my sister Ann in one of the books, thinking of her last months and how much I wish things were different. I wondered if somehow the words that I wrote in the book were being relayed to her spirit. There is no way to know. After writing my note, I sat solemnly for a few moments, deep in thought. Then I stood up, took a tissue from the box, and quietly left the Remebrance Tent.

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