Saturday, September 3, 2011

To The Last Drop....

At the risk of becoming obnoxious....Wait, let me stop right here. Two things wrong with this opening. First, I have been obnoxious as long as I have been alive so the whole "becoming" reference is utter jive. Second, I have been unconcerned about being obnoxious as long as I have been obnoxious so the phrase "at the risk of" is also utter jive. I am. I make no apology for it either. Hence, I live risk free.

OK, where were we? Right. I have mentioned it in this space previously. I do so again here today. I shall run tomorrow morning in New Brunswick in a 5K race. This particular race is a labor of love of the family of New Brunswick Deputy Fire Chief James D'heron. Deputy Chief D'Heron died seven years ago today while rescuing people from a fire. His family created the James D'heron Memorial Foundation. Proceeds from the race go to a myriad of good causes including but not limited to the Saint Barnabas Burn Foundation. Good people doing a good thing to honor the memory of someone they loved. Simply terrific stuff.

Again tommorrow - as he did last year - Hal Smolanoff shall run in the Jimmy D. This year - as he did last year - Hal shall run to raise money for the Carly Pfeiffer Scholarship Fund. Carly is the wee one whose firefighter dad James Pfeiffer died in August 2010 in an accident at the family's home. Hal Smolanoff and James Pfeiffer did not know one another. Hal is simply a good person doing a good thing to assist the loved ones of a man who dedicated his life to helping others. Equally terrific stuff.

We (meaning those of us who make up Sue's Crew) are now less than one month away from the 2011 Race for the Cure. I always know we are getting close when Gidg shows us the t-shirt design for this year's team shirts:




(And the answer to the question you ask yourself as you check out that shirt is sign up to be part of Sue's Crew before September 12 and one in your size will be part of your swag.)

This particular undertaking is a labor of love shepherded by my daughter Suzanne and her cousin Megan to honor the memory of a woman they loved very much: their grandmother. I come at this issue with my own particular bias but there is no disease I find more insidious or destructive than breast cancer. I have had a ringside seat as two of the toughest, best women I have been blessed to know have squared off against it. Mom kicked its ass.

Suzy B. tried mightily but ultimately lost her fight. Sue's Crew is her family's response to her defeat. It is the continuation of the battle against a relentless, cruel foe. And it is my good fortune to be able to participate on it with two women I love with all my heart: Margaret and Suzanne. And it blows me away that this year not only will my sister Kara be part of the Crew again (Stel braved the elements last year to join us at Great Adventure) but her husband Russ and my nephew Jordan shall also participate.

Jordan is the youngest of Kara/Russ's three amigos (and the only one this October not matriculating to an out-of-state university. His hold up is entirely age-related and nothing else). I think (although I could be wrong) that Jordan's entire book of knowledge regarding my mother-in-law is composed of him seeing her every year on Christmas Day at my house, which means his book consists of not very many chapters at all. Yet, he told his mom that he wanted to run this year because, "Mrs. B was always very nice to me." Nothing more involved than that. She was good to him. Now he is - as far as he is concerned - simply acting in kind. Pretty heady little dude my nephew. He gets that from his uncle. OK, he gets it from his mom and dad.

Just another example of good people doing a good thing for a person who spent her life doing nothing but good things for others. Good people do good things for others all around us. And they do them every day. And for that and for them, even an obnoxious prick like me can (and does) give thanks.

-AK

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