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A moment of faith

January 29, 2012

For nearly an hour I looped around the rolling hills of my neighborhood, quietly praying for friends who are dealing with medical illnesses. It was a beautiful crisp winter Sunday morning. Praying and walking is where my faith meets meditation in exercise. I am by myself, thinking through all life’s worries and giving thanks for everything I have to appreciate.

I ask God for strength, long before I turn at the creek and climbed the uphills for a mile.

Today I was praying for four specific people. I asked God to touch them with strength, spirit and love, to surround them with good people, and to give me the wisdom to be the kind of friend who shows up.

I thought about my one friend in her battle with breast cancer. She refuses to let it define her: She’s so smart. She even went on two blind dates before starting chemotherapy. I saw her recently after she had gone for chemotherapy and then to hot yoga. You go, girl! Kickbox that cancer right back into the 1800’s.

Along my route, I started to think about the LIVESTRONG Challenge this year in Philadelphia and how much I was looking forward to managing the Survivor Rose line. (For those who don’t know, the Lance Armstrong Foundation hands a single long-stemmed yellow rose to every cancer survivor that crosses the finish line at it’s fundraising events. It doesn’t matter whether you walk, stroll, ride, race, run or waddle. If you are there, this is your gold-metal moment. This is your moment to stand at the finish line and say,” I celebrate life!”) I thought about all the people I have met in the last two years, how seeing them again is a sort of life reunion. I look forward to it all year.

Those long-stemmed yellow roses are a burst of sunshine. To be surrounded by a thousand yellow roses all weekend at a sporting event really is a good gig. I was thinking about it as I turned a corner and decided to do one loop around the neighborhood again.

The act of handing a cancer survivor their rose is to become a part of their story. You are a small by significant part of their legacy. To hand them a rose is like putting the bow on the gift of life. It is such an honor for me, a deep heartfelt honor.

The bow on the gift of life.

I rounded the top of  Starboard Way and saw it lying there in the road. A single long-stemmed red rose in a foil wrapper, just like the yellow ones I hand out at LIVESTRONG every August.  I didn’t see it when I was on that road just 10 minutes earlier. I’d like to think it was sent to me, like a shinny dime. I looked up and said, “Thank you.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Amy Whilldin permalink
    January 29, 2012 10:24 pm

    Simply & beautifully said, Mary.

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