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Susan G. Komen 3-Day Closing Ceremony

As we were walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, I saw this:

This couple held hands almost the entire walk.
This couple held hands almost the entire walk.

Can you imagine how sweaty their hands were? I mean, my husband and I hold hands and art a few minutes, I feel like I need to wipe off some sweat and wait for my skin to shrink back to regular size. 60 miles of hand-holding. That’s impressive.

I had so many questions. Aside from how this is possible, I wanted to know why. Was this something they did all the time. Was there some significance to how long they held on to each other?

I pretty much got my answer at the closing ceremony.

You see, as we walked in, the walkers were ushered into a fenced in area and the survivors came in separately and were ushered into the middle of that area, around the flag. Well, on the inside of that circle was the woman and on the outside was the man. I can only imagine what they have been through. Had he almost lost his love? Had he vowed never to let her go? Was this something they always did together?

The closing ceremony pretty much looked like this:

IMG_1221 (1)It was moving in a way that I can’t explain, as was the entire closing ceremony. And after we were all settled into our carousel, I glanced over and saw a mother inside the circle and her children in the outer circle, their hands on her shoulders. They cried together. They hugged. They prayed. I saw shoes in the air in honor of those who have fought the big fight and then showed us all how it was done on the walk.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Closing Ceremony was one of those moments when I felt removed from reality. I have never had to stare death in the face. I have never had to watch a loved one suffer on a daily basis. Yet here I was, standing with them. Doing the only thing I could to help them.

And about 15 minutes later, I was walk–well limping, back across the parking lot to our car. A car that had my kids and husband. A car that would drive me back to the reality of life, motherhood, my job, my life. A life where people just did not cheer me on for crossing the street. A life where people couldn’t understand the enormity of what I’ve just done or why I did it. A life where I’d have to drink something other than Gatorade and stop carbo-loading.

It wasn’t easy. I should have written this out then, when my emotions were so thick. I stayed home from work the day after the walk. I couldn’t move well and figured I was no good at the office. That closing ceremony symbolized such closure on that event but the opening of something new within me.

I can only hope it continues to grow.