Monday, May 5, 2008

Overwhelming Moments

I did the Avon Walk this weekend. I finished. All 39.3+ miles. It was amazing. I have sooooo much to write about but I am a semi-zombie right now and can't think in any kind of order. Since I've been doing the 25th Day challenge I've been thinking about capturing those little moments that may seem insignificant on their own, but which together build a picture of a day. So for now, here are a few moments (in the order in which they come to me):

(At registration on Friday) Selling all six necklaces I made and having people tell me they were beautiful. Women buying them as gifts for friends they were walking for. Women coming to ask if I had any more because they'd seen other people wearing them and loved them.

The Fancy Pink Ladies with their pink feather hats in a convertible Lexus driving back and forth along the route and cheering us on. And seeing them later on the route sitting at an Irish Bar drinking beers (out of bottles!), still cheering us on. (Andrea and I decided we want to be them when we get old. Or next year.)

(At breakfast both Walk Days) The worst coffee I have ever tasted in my life, which could not be fixed with any amount of half-and-half and sugar.

Seeing (and buying) a button that says, "Blisters Don't Need Chemo." Being thankful for that dose of perspective before I even started the walk. Wearing the button for all 40 miles.

Little girls with free lemonade stands in front of their houses, handing out free lemonade to the walkers.

Men holding their babies, sitting in their front yards and thanking us for walking.

The "Walker Stalkers" who spent all day driving from place to place along the route and cheering us on and thanking us for walking.

And the candy. Oh, the candy they handed out. It was a constant, guilt-free sugar rush.

Food and Friends chocolate chip cookies.

Banana Laffy Taffy.

A fabulous and very gentle chiropractor (on Saturday night after 26.2 miles).

A kind and beautiful osteopath who understood my needle phobia and told me when to close my eyes and when I could open them again (when she drained my blisters on Saturday night).

The little girl generously doling out Jelly Bellies using a paper Dixie Cup as a scoop.

Saving the peach ones for last.

The little boys (toddlers, really) giving us their animal crackers.

The woman who came out to her porch and shouted, "Tomorrow is my last day of chemotherapy!"

All the walkers cheering for that woman and then tearing up.

Being so glad I was there when she said it.

Laughing with strangers.

The funny and sometimes dumb pink signs posted by Team California.

The man with his guitar serenading us with, "Pretty women, walking down the streets..."

Seeing the mile 23 signpost--further than I'd ever walked (training just got up to 22 miles).

The motorcycle crew who served as crossing guards/comedians. The man who dressed as a princess and handed out princess stickers and wore falsies and had a pink bra across his motorcycle headlights and a pink mohawk on his helmet. The guy who blasted out up-beat music from his motorcycle. The woman who invited us to come over to her little "island" (aka the median). They must have done this eight hundred times but they kept it up to keep us laughing.

Meeting Larry and thanking him for posting his "What If" message.

Getting texts of encouragement from my mom and my sister while I was walking.

At mile 25.5, waiting at a stoplight and being told, "I can't believe you're all still smiling!" All of us then looking around at one another and thinking/saying, "Oh, we are still smiling!"

The college kids in pink feathers and crazy outfits who cheered us like crazy (especially when I said, "Keep it comin'!") and passed out bumper stickers. The lift it gave me.

The longest mile ever (milepost 20) and then the glory of the shortest mile ever (milepost 21) about two minutes later.

The hot SHOWER at the end of Saturday.

The funny team names and t-shirts. "Po Po for Ta-Ta's." "Breast Men." The baseball jerseys saying "Save Second Base." The hilarious "Feel your Boobies" shirts that you just had to see to understand. "Four Abreast." "The Boobsie Twins."

People laughing out loud at our team shirts. "Saving the world one headlight at a time."

(On Friday night) Going out to dinner with our team at, of course, Hooters.

Finding out that all the walkers raised more than $8.1 million, a new record!

Reese Witherspoon's address at the closing ceremony. So casual and down-to-earth and funny and excited.

Finishing. Walking through the channel of people cheering us on and high-fiving us as we walked under the finish line arch.

Finding a Mohawk Man pink-ribbon penny.

The 17 year-old boy with his arm in a cast, walking with the sign on his back saying, "I'm walking for my Mom. I ROCK!" Wearing skater shoes. :)

Jason taking pictures of me at the closing ceremony.

Spending two days and walking 40 miles with Andrea. Lots of talking. Easy silences. Easy laughter.

Developing allergies and sneezing 408 times.

Overheating in the sun at closing ceremonies and escaping to the shade. Jason melting ice cubes in his hands so the cold drips fell over my forehead when I said the ice was too cold.

The elderly woman in a wheelchair sitting along the route thanking us for walking.

The woman standing in her yard with bare feet drinking coffee and watching us all walk by.

Walkers wearing feathered hats, tiaras, and all kinds of crazy, funny things I wouldn't want to walk in.

Finally getting a picture of all six teammates on Friday night.

Walkers so newly out of chemo that they are still bald.

Hearing the woman explaining to her very young son why we were all walking.

Men holding flowers at the finish line, waiting for their wives.

(On the way home out of D.C.) Yelling out the car window, "Good job, ladies!" to some women on the sidewalk.

Hearing them yell back, "You too!"

Falling asleep in the car on the way home.

Arriving home and putting on soft, fuzzy socks and pajamas.

Finding even more blisters on my feet.

Hearing Jason talk to the people who called to check on me as I dozed on the couch.

Twittering throughout the walk.

Finding out people had followed me on Twitter.

Waking up today and being able to walk. :) Mostly. :)

Checking on my friends' blogs this morning and seeing their blogs about my walk here and here and here and here. These are ladies I met less than a month ago at Inspired. Wow. Wow. Wow. I am so blessed.

Crying as I wrote this message and remembered these moments. Laughing that I am still writing when I intended this to be a quick message. So, so, so thankful. Full of thanks for each and every moment.


amy said...

what an incredible post cameron!!! congrats!!! 39.3+miles for cancer+cameron=billions of miles in support/encouragement and joy for a mulititude of people.


Deanne said...

Cameron, Congratulations on your amazing journey! Hope you and the blisters are healing. What an inspirational event!Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your two days. We will be waiting for more.

Love, Aunt Dee

Jilliene Designs said...

Thank you Cameron. I'm sitting here crying in front of my monitor from your touching and inspiring chronicle of the "moments". I am so moved -the tears keep coming. I am committed to doing the avon walk now and I'm blogging about your incredible story.

Katie said...

What an amazing post about an amazing experience! It's funny, because you talk about capturing the insignificant moments ... you could not have told a more significant story with the "details." How great of you to do this -- you've inspired me to look into it for next year!

Hope your blisters are healing quickly!

Lynda J P said...

wow, i don't know your personal reasons for doing this, but i do know u r a wonderful gal for doing it! congrats. i loved reading every word! i hope ur lil tootsies r doing fine and the blisters are healing....
congrats cameron.u r amazing
lynda in calif.
p.s. i finished my 25 album. can't wait to snap this month....
p.s.s. i have never done a walk or marathon...but i help "save the babies" as i was once told while i gave blood...i give every 56 days!

Cynthia said...

Cameron what a fabulous post. Made me cry. You remarkable girl. I am sorry I have been so busy with work and was not able to cheer you on. So, here is a big thank you for doing that long walk. I am inspired. I will do a
little gratitude for you on my blog.

Ava's Mom said...

Cameron, so proud of you! Awesome post, brings tears to my eyes. Great, great, great job!!! So inspiring.

Jaime said...

I'm tagging you in
1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog (and include a visual illustration if you’d like).
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Aimee said...

i am crying too-- beautiful post!

8.1 million dollars. Woot!

miss you, really, i do- funny thing since we just met.

what beautiful perspective you have