Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Off & Running Again...

Try not to become a man of success
But rather a man of value.
-Albert Einstein



I am a lucky man in that I have women in my life willing to teach me - the dictionary definition of an "old dog" - and to patiently restate that lesson as often as necessary for it to pierce the gynormous boulder-sized ornament atop my shoulders. 

Slightly more than five years ago something truly shitty happened.  Margaret's mom - Suzy B. - died in the wee small hours of June 2, 2009 - after having fought a valiant and ultimately unsuccessful war against cancer.  My pocket-sized mother-in-law - to steal a phrase from William Wallace - fought like a warrior poet for the final five years of her life.  It was a struggle that was heart-wrenching to watch.  It was equally so for me watching my wife serve as her mom's primary care giver and head cheerleader.  Margaret spent the final five years of her mother's life telling Suzy B. things - in terms of the latter's own condition - that neither of them believed when Margaret said them nor when Suzy B. heard them - but that both nonetheless needed to hear uttered aloud.  Do not believe anyone who tells you there is no such thing as a good lie. 

Out of the blackness that was the death of my mother-in-law, something beautiful was born and continues to flourish.  The two elder stateswomen in the Grandkid Corps - Suz and Meg - sprung into action and created the entity known as "Sue's Crew".  Its purpose is simple:  Honor the life of the grandmother they loved dearly by helping to do all that we can to help raise money to battle breast cancer and other equally insidious offshoots thereof in an effort to help at least one other family avoid walking a single step in the shoes Margaret's family was forced to adorn. 

Each and every Autumn since Suzy B.'s death in 2009, Sue's Crew has participated in a breast cancer 5K Run/Walk somewhere in the State of Concrete Gardens.  For four of our first five years, we matriculated south to Great Adventure for the Central/South Jersey Chapter of the Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure.  Two years ago, we headed over to Union County to take part in the wonderfully-titled Race for Mom.  This year, we are lending our legs and our hearts to an event a bit closer to home...well, to my home anyway.

On Saturday, September 20th, Sue's Crew VI shall participate in the Janice Garbolino Memorial 5K Run/Walk, which honors the legacy of a woman who served as the Health & Wellness Director for the Metuchen, N.J. YMCA until she, herself, lost her battle with breast cancer in 2002.  While it should go without saying that we invite any and all who pop by this page to join us, subtlety has never been my strong suit.  So, it shall not go without being said aloud:  PLEASE COME BE PART OF SUE'S CREW VI @ THE JANICE GARBOLINO MEMORIAL 5K RUN/WALK, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014, LAKEVIEW SCHOOL, ROOSEVELT PARK, EDISON, NEW JERSEY. 

Subtle enough for you?  Here is the link to register:  http://www.ymcaofmewsa.org/garbolino5k.  I would apologize for my lack of subtlety except for two things.  First, breast cancer is a bully.  If you are a man fortunate enough to have (a) a mother; (b) a wife; (c) a daughter; (d) a female friend or relative; and/or (e) all of the above, then unsnap your skull cap and wrap your head around this concept.  Breast cancer may come after each and every one of the women you love.  It is a great non-discriminatory killer.  It cannot pretend to give a rat's ass whose home it wrecks and whose life it ravages.  You do not fight back against a bully with little flitting blows.  You stand squarely in front of him and punch him in the larynx, knocking him down over and over, until he finally stops getting back up. 

Second, see Reason #1...

  
-AK

 


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