Under the heading of “time flies when you’re having fun”…we are in Week 7 of the campaign. Seven. There are many updates I’ve been remiss in sharing, so hang and I’ll take you on a frenetic update ride. Let’s go.
Three weeks from Friday is the gala. Three weeks. Have you purchased your tickets? Seriously, don’t make me go into sales mode to get you there. It’s an incredible amount of fun, the auction items are super cool, you get to dress up and make your 1980’s prom-self (and probably your forgettable date) jealous, and well, the bar is open and open late. All that aside, the most important reason you need to be there? The cause.
Two nights ago, there was a collective event at Club Soda. Non-candidate specific. And do you know how much was raised by our Fort Wayne contingent in the course of a three-hour event all in the name of eradicating cancer? Over $11,500! That’s pretty spectacular, as was the company.
Speaking of the attendees on Sunday, Gianna was also there. That was rough. She was clearly under the weather, her vibrant smile hidden beneath a signature sparkly hat. With her hand clutched to her Dad’s, Gianna’s little head hung low as she walked. She’s doing much better now; however, let me tell you – in the midst of dinner and a lot of laughs amongst friends, seeing that stops you mid-sentence. Nothing causes instant cessation faster than watching a sick child and trying to make sense of it.
Cancer stops everyone mid-whatever. Mid-car ride, mid-parenting, mid-phone call, mid-life, or sometimes mid-pitch, like OSU freshman baseball player Zach Farmer, who was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia) last week. His season suddenly looks very different.
Earlier today, cancer halted me yet again mid-work day. As I was walking a thousand miles an hour down the hallway, our Admin Assistant answered a question for me and followed it up by asking one of her own:
“Can I ask you something personal?”
<nodding as my face lost all coloring>: “Of course.”
“When you were sick, did you have a tumor?”
<knowing what was about to happen>: “Who has cancer, Sarah?”
She went on to tell me the story. Sarah’s forever best girlfriend called her the day before in utter hysteria, explaining that her husband – the love of her life, her guy, her person, her one – has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I could tell Sarah had been crying; I’m sure her friend had been crying even more.
We went on to discuss the general disease, the typical prognosis, treatment, etc. Sarah understandably wanted to know so she could be in a position to help and comfort her best friend. The part that she was struggling with the most was not knowing how to counsel her regarding the emotional and relational toll it was taking. (We all do a bang up job with that stuff through our own volition; cancer doing it as a solo act infuriates me.)
Apparently, Sarah’s friend’s husband was in the anger stage. Anger. That one is something else.
You want to help with this campaign but don’t know how? Start by upping your compassion. And I don’t mean for “just people with cancer.” We all have something. Some ailment; some sickness; some thorn in our side with which we struggle. Let people be angry once in a while. Everyone’s “place” has been arrived at through completely different means. Our journeys are unique; our relationship histories even more so.
To watch someone you love battle cancer and yet be so completely defenseless is no small emotional undertaking.
When you are unable to step up to the plate and pinch hit for your loved one as so many family members and friends long to do, it DOES make you angry. When you are stuck in a hospital room for 7 weeks while your 2 year-old daughter is learning how to do first time things in this life that you should be showing her – it makes you angry.
When your wife, your husband, your brother, your sister, your high school “did THAT just happen?” buddy, your childhood friend, your own child, or…or the only mother or father you’ll ever have is sick and you can’t do a thing about it – it makes you ridiculously angry. And a whole lot of other emotions.
So let’s channel that anger at the right target together, just like the OSU baseball team is doing.
“The team as a whole is obviously concerned about their brother, but we will forge on in our mission.” -Coach Beals
Forge on, everyone. It matters.