For the last couple of years one of the husbands workmates has organised a company team to participate in Relay for Life. For anyone who doesn't know what Relay for Life is, from humble beginnings (we're talking one lone man running an oval for 24 hours and raising a staggering $27,000 for his local cancer charity), it has grown into a global event with monies raised going to cancer charities across the world (in Australia this charity is the Cancer Council).
So we do this as a family event and we we're all out in force last week. All of us enter (yes even Miss 4) and have a great family day. Unfortunatly due to comittments we couldn't get there until 7pm this year but we still pulled a fair few laps all the while my kids made sure they kept fueling the donation tins but eating stalls out of house and home (I swear you would think I never feed these kids). It's a great family friendly event. Many of the individual stalls are run by school students. Little things like face painting for $3 or fingernail painting for $2 or massages for $5. My kids enjoy going every year and understand very well the concept of what we're raising money for (although Miss 4 only on a very basic level).
After all the fun and games of the night, the candle lighting ceremony is very poignant and moving. For those that know me I post what looks like the same photo every single year (trust me, I do take a new one each relay), but it honestly brings tears to my eyes and I have to share.While all the oval lights are still off, the speeches finish and the crowds move off to do a slow lap of remembrance, the sheer cliff face lights with the one word that symbolises why we are are all doing laps around this oval.
Not only did I have two special people I lit candles for (love you forever Nanna) and the gorgeous Miss Ella, but I also purchased two candles and lit them with no specific names on them. Instead they were lit for everyone who has been touched by this insidious disease in one way or another. The white candles are for those fighting or who have fought the battle of their lives. Keep fighting, we're behind you all the way.
The brown candles are for remembrance. Rest in peace sweet Angels knowing that events like today are raising funds for research so that maybe one day no one will ever need to endure your pain.