Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

May 16, 2014

Remembering Relays Past /Event 2 to 10 p.m. today

If you don’t already have plans to do so, get thee out to Mildred this afternoon/evening to Asby Stadium and participate in Navarro County Relay for Life. You will be glad you did, I promise.

Twelve years ago when I first came to work at ye olde Daily Sun, I was in the accounting office, and Karen Davis, herself a cancer survivor, organized a team for us for Relay. We had a cute little newstand fashioned from a carboard box (maybe a refrigerator box?), matching T-shirts, and other cute newstand-type paraphernalia for our campsite.

That year the Relay took place at Fullerton Garrity Park, and our campsite was on the far backside of the park. No lights are back there. An uncharacteristic cold snap happened just in time for the event, and I recall huddling out there by the campsite wrapped in coats, blankets, and still freezing. At the time, I was still betrothed to Mr. Pawlowski, and I dispatched him to my sister’s house just a block or two away for a jug of hot coffee. (Ironically, it wasn’t long later that the girls and I moved into the house right across the street from her. But I digress.)

It was lots of fun that year, and I remember becoming acquainted with my dear friend Rob Ludwig while we lapped the track in the chilly wind that night. There were several more Relay events at Fullerton Garrity in later years, but I recall at least a couple out at the old Tiger Field (the one that’s no longer there).

One Relay at Tiger Field really stands out in my mind, because it took place just a week or so after my Dad’s first cancer surgery. Dad bravely came out and made the Survivor lap, the most moving part of the entire night next to the Luminaria ceremony. He was frail, weak, and tired so quickly. But I was so very proud of him for coming out and making the effort to walk that track.

He was still with us the next year when Relay took place, which was held at Community Park. Mother and I made a quick appearance, but as he was not doing well, he stayed home, and we did not linger at the park in order to get back home to him. He passed away about a month later.

The Daily Sun has not had a Relay team in recent years, but I’m so very grateful for the teams that do work hard and raise money for cancer research, and cancer services right here in Navarro County. Just last night I purchased some raffle tickets on a quilt made by the Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild, which is one team’s fundraiser for Relay. And even in years when I’m not assigned to cover the event, I like to go out and take part in the festivities and donate to an amazing, worthwhile cause.

This year, the team of Relay organizers has been hard at work for months. They will hold it at a brand-new location this year, and I am excited about this changing face of Relay. If you can, come out, even if just for an hour. Eat some great brisket, watch the Hula Hoop Lap, enjoy the music, see your friends, exchange some hugs, and spend money.

All of us know someone, or have lost a loved one to his hideous disease. I’m ready for the day when there is an absolute cure for cancer. When it’s wiped out completely. I’m ready for the day when not one more person has to hear their doctor say those dreaded words.

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be reached via email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com.

 

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