I am truly honored to have been the photographer for this event. When asked, I gladly accepted. However, I was completely unaware of how emotional and incredibly overwhelmed I would feel at the event. The energy that filled the camps was unreal. I had very mixed emotions that entire night. Happy tears that streaked my face as I cheered for the survivors, heard their stories and hugged their families. And, the salty tears that burned my tender eyes, as watched very young children participating in honor of their mothers who were unsuccessful in their battles. For the first time in my life I really realized CANCER IS REAL. Both my mom and my mother-in-law are survivors of breast cancer. Even during my own mother's diagnosis and treatments, I never really believed she might not be here with me today. I faced the news with my battle gear on, as did she. Her initial scare was in 2008. Then more news in 2009. After that, she decided that she would proceed with a double mastectomy, just to be safe. I am thankful for her decision. Fact is, I am thankful for her.
But, my heart is so heavy. Shame on me for being so naive.
After this event, I can no longer walk around each day feeling invincible. I have made some serious changes to the way I have directives and funds allocated. This, of course, is for my children. The ones I love. The ones that I live for. As we all do, after an event of this caliber, I hug my children tighter, tell the ones I love, " I LOVE YOU SO MUCH", and really cherish my husband for all he is. I, personally, get so wrapped up in daily life that I forget to stop once in a while. I am so consumed by work, planning, and what is next. shame on me. As my favorite John Lennon says, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Isn't this the truth?! I strongly encourage you to Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.
See the entire gallery here.