Sunday morning was literally a wicked day. BF and I got up WICKED early and headed into town for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. I was leading a team from school and had to play "team leader" - something I haven't done in quite a while. But it turned out to be so rewarding. We raised almost $1000! Each year, I raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness and walk or run in memory of a really good friend of mine who lost her battle back in 2001. I call it my special time with Diane. This year I had high hopes that I would be more celebratory since we had raised so much cash but I wasn't. It started out well enough but then I saw people who were wearing shirts that said they were walking in memory of a dear loved one and I practically crumbled inside. I tried to keep a smile on my face and enjoy the beautiful day but I couldn't help feeling angry and saddened by the tragedy of breast cancer and the many wonderful people who have lost their lives. Diane was one of those people. She was such a positive influence in my life. She was my "Nashville Mom" - we worked together and she was always looking out for me in my work and personal life. She was always optimistic and genuinely happy. People were drawn to her kindness and enthusiasm. When she was diagnosed, she didn't let it get her down. She fought so hard and so courageously for 3 years and even went through a remission. Her life, struggle, and death served as a catalyst in my own life and I resolved to remember her by doing this very thing every year. I hope I have made her proud.
Although I grieved Diane that morning and into the afternoon, I allowed myself to bounce back and enjoy the evening at the theatre. Me, BF, and a group of friends headed to the Opera House to see Wicked, a production that I have been wanting to see for the last year. The show was a delight. It was absolutely wonderful and the performance was flawless. It is a show that I would see over and over again. And as I reflect back on the day, I know Diane is winking at me and telling that I should always be delighted and to see the positive in everything. She would not have wanted me to be so somber during such an event that was focused on awareness and celebrating those who have survived. You can celebrate without being disloyal to those who have lost their lives. We honor them in the fight and by preventing more losses. Luckily I have a wonderful BF who is forever more the optimist and he always encourages me to do the same.