One of the best “miles” of the training experience has been the success of last Friday's 80's benefit party for Dana-Farber. Not only was the fundraising aspect a hit with over $3000 contributed to fund cancer research at Dana-Farber, but a great community of friends came together to have fun while also supporting this important cause. Everyone truly embraced the 80's theme. There was a lot of laughing, some serious singing, and even a little break dancing. Local stores experienced a run on blue eyeshadow, and scarily enough, 80’s attire is currently readily available again in stores. Be forewarned: leg warmers are primed to make a comeback. The hits of the decade brought us onto the dance floor. Mullets and big hair shared the spotlight with turned up collars and alligator shirts. We saw representatives from the hair bands of the 80’s and people who jumped right off the pages of the Preppy Handbook. Thankfully, the many groups were able to peacefully co-exist all in the name of charity and there was no need to take it out back after the dance!
It was a great success all around. I am so thankful for the generosity given to the marathon challenge program, but maybe a little more grateful for the examples of kindness and friendship to which I was witness. I am continuously amazed by the selflessness and generosity that has been shown by our community, and am incredibly humbled to have had the opportunity to share this experience with such good, kind people. There are not words that I can come up with express my sincerest thanks to "Team Jennie" and everyone who supported this event.
In the midst of all this crazy fun, however, have been some tough days that are vivid reminders of why I am running. These are the uphills that pop up just when you think you are cruising along at a steady pace. Anniversaries and birthdays seem to be the steepest of the hills, and today is another of those kinds of days. Today is Molly’s 39th birthday. There is no doubt that I would have already talked to her this morning, and would have spoken to her another couple of times as the day went on. Maybe we would have talked about her birthday but probably more about report cards and weather and funny kid stories and what we were making for dinner and the really funny pictures from Friday night. It’s those conversations that I miss the most, and I think about them every day. She would have loved to be here on Friday with Mom and Katy and Mary, dressed up and dancing the night away with the girls.
This experience is one that can so be so uplifting and gratifying, but when I take a moment to think about the reasons why I chose Dana-Farber to represent, it is also heartbreaking. I know the hills will continue to pop up, but I also know there will be some flat stretches along the way, too. And maybe those hills will eventually feel less steep. We’ll get up over the hill today, and hope that there isn’t another one right behind it. We try to remember to coast when the day is good and enjoy the easy downhills. And when we are faced by the big ones, just drive those knees and get up and over that hill one step after another. There is always another ride down on the other side.
Thank you, thank you "Team Jennie" for everything.
Be good. Be strong. And today, for Molly, be sweet.