Saturday, September 20, 2014

Do The Crew

Something that was borne of out the despair visited upon Margaret's family in the wee small hours of the morning of June 2, 2009 shall enjoy its sixth iteration this morning.  The rag-tag, happy-go-lucky ensemble known as "Sue's Crew" shall run, walk and/or a bit of both today in Roosevelt Park in Edison Township, New Jersey at a breast cancer fundraising event known as the Janice Garbolino 5K.  This year's Crew is Sue's Crew VI.  

I think - although I went to law school in significant part because I possess no actual aptitude to do anything and, also, to avoid math - that this year's Crew is our largest one ever.  We are forty strong. An assemblage of family, friends and all-around good folks who are willing and able to give up a piece of a Saturday morning to join the Missus and me in something that is very important and dear to us.

Margaret is very happy that the Texas Tornado shall be with us this morning.  The past two years, Suzanne was living in the land where the stars at night are big and bright and while she was with us in spirit - and she and Ryan ran each year resplendent in their Sue's Crew attire in breast cancer races in Houston - this is the first time since 2011 that she will be with Margaret on race day.  Suz has taken on the role of Margaret's personal trainer since she moved back to the State of Concrete Gardens and, as I understand it, the two of them are going to run together today.  

I am beyond pleased that in addition to my sister Kara and her youngest son Jordan, both of whom participate on our Crew every year, my oldest niece Jessica (Evan's oldest daughter) and Jess's daughter, Zoe, are both taking part this year as well.  I have never met Zoe and am really looking forward to doing so.  The indomitable Joanie K. is a 30+ year breast cancer survivor.  Mom and Suzy B always got along famously but after the latter was diagnosed with breast cancer in the Spring of 2004, they became almost soul sisters.  Mom used to send cards with little inspirational messages on them north from Florida on a regular basis.  They also spoke frequently on the phone.  Given the strength of their bond, it gladdens my little briquette of a heart that Mom is represented on this year's Crew by three generations:  Kara and I (children), Jess and Jordan (grandchildren) and Zoe (great-grandchild).  

We run this year - as we do every year - to celebrate the life of Suzy B and to honor her memory.  This year we run as well to celebrate the life and honor the memory of Diana Kizis, the matriarch of the Family Kizis.  It was slightly more than three months ago that she lost her spirited, valiant battle against cancer.  The Kizises have been like family to Margaret for practically her entire life and it has been among my greatest of privileges to have had them treatment me in like fashion for the past quarter-century or so.  Her daughters lovingly called their mom, "Hazel", which is why this year's team shirts include a handwritten "H" on the left sleeve.  A handwritten "H" written by Hazel's hand. 

I hope that this morning the weather in which we shall run matches the spirit with which we shall do so.  Any time one gets to spend quality time in the company of quality people, one is having a good day. 

Today, I shall have one hell of a day...

Sue's Crew VI Team Shirt (Front)

Sue's Crew VI Shirt (Back)
w/the "Hazel H" on the left sleeve


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