Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Relay for Life Pictures

Laziness saved the pictures, rather I should say my desire not to do anything rash saved 'em. Yes, I am upset with the mis-representation towards the memory of my sister by the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I, however, know that I was also at the event for other reasons. The reasons would include to hang out with co-workers & to take pictures for the company I work for. Here therefore are a few of the images from that day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Relay for Life

12:33 AM 6/14/2008

It sucked!

That's the easiest way to put it, a huge let down.

I've planned on going to this event for months. I had my department manager even swing the schedule for me (thanks). However it is a big let down.

It was cool, great day beautiful weather (140 in your car) 80 else where. Clear sky just the kind you want to picnic under all day & night. It was held in a big city park, where at the same time was 2 baseball games & 2 practices going on. So where do I park??? Next when I found where to park, where were the vendor booths & where were the meeting areas. These weren't exactly well defined, thankfully the vendors were able to get themselves organized. The bathrooms - ah the pavilion, by the time I last relived myself I thought going redneck would be more sanitary in the parking lot. The route - if you missed the announcement early on in the event you had to guess where it was at - aka unmarked along the park's sidewalks. The announcement also included that they (the organizer's) did not want anyone walking a lone. Ah - safety but is that not why the event was at the park next to the city/county buildings and local police dept??? The stage events seemed to be a hodge podge of music & what not. I never did figure it out, sometimes there was a dance group cavorting on stage other times some music. For the opening ceremony they hired the CIA to do their goods to a cat, I mean they had some awful singer belt out the national anthem. Irony strikes, I'm drinking a beer. The tune to the US national anthem is a drinking song - a lousy one at that of the day. The words are a poem about a battle we lost to the British. My British friends never let me live that one down... My question for this part of the even is where is the flag? I didn't see one flying near by - the city had taken their's down for the weekend. There weren't any on stage, nor any Boy Scouts to present 'the colors.' This was all minor to what was to come.

What came as the night grew on. The luminaries were set out.

The bags prepared by loved ones who lost their's to cancer & of survivors, decorated; were filled with a handful of sand & a flickering light set inside. These were set up along the walking path. I watched & took pictures. People came up to me & asked what organization I shoot for. This is always cool & refreshing. I tell them it is a hobby & I take a few images for the company I work for. I followed along & took pictures of the one's I recognized, my DM's family, a co-worker's, others of interest.

I saw one with my sister's name on it. I thought cool - someone else is here who knows & remembers my sister, I hope to run into them. That though however would not be the case -that was (not) my luminary. I continued on. I didn't see the luminary I brought & gave to one of the volunteers who where to set these things out. I walked the route 3 more times, may be I missed it. I went back to the luminary I saw. I took out the light & placed it in another bag, shook out the sand & folded it up. I am disappointed. The cap stone just cracked. I could put up
with all the other stuff of this evening. This I cannot. I cursed under my breath walking away in the dark. The path dimly lit by the lights in the bag.

Some ladies where talking about the event & how well it was going as I left. They had volunteer shirts on. I asked if I could give a few words. Choking back the tears I told them I've walked this time & time again I have not found the luminary I made. I found a hand scrawled one with my sister's name on it. I also said I saw others with the same hand writing, just names with 'In memory of ...' I cursed the event as I walked away from them. This event had dishonored my memory of my sister...

Then it occurred to me why the volunteer I gave my luminary to asked if I had paid my money... This isn't an event to remember lost ones or to honor surviors. It' about the money. Not about the show & tell of how this organization is promoting finding a cure to cancer. It's about the money. What a cold hearted thing. (This is my opinion as I reflect on tonight). The word's this volunteer & those I passed leaving, just cold hearted. Cold.

She was beautiful. She was unique. She played an instrument few dare play & to my understanding she played it beautifully. She was my best friend growing up. She was the one person I knew from preschool. There isn't a day when I don't thing about her or look at a picture of her.

This event, the one I've looked forward to for so long in which I can set a memento next to other memento's of others who died of cancer crushes me. I utterly hate this evening. I I I can't say it enough. It sucked.

I got a 12 pack on my way home. At least I can cry into my beer.

If you are reading this & wondering where the pictures are of this event that I took. They are in a vice. The flash cards are so close to being destroyed. The one thing that will let you see them is a letter of apology from this event organizer on organization letterhead on why 'our' luminaries where not displayed. We paid our money. Please let us honor our dead.

All I am asking is let me honor my dead.