It was a chilly, windy, rainy day! Someone had told me that there would be a “cancer walk” off the riverfront in Detroit. My first thought was that no one would be there, so I did not have to go, but a sense of commitment over-powered the “trying-to-get-out-of-it” excuse, and I found myself speeding toward downtown. I had not gotten the exact location or start time, but I knew where the riverfront was, so I decided to make that my destination.
I arrived downtown, parked my car, and went into the hotel entrance. As a seasoned traveler, I make it a habit to stop by information desks. Leaning forward and peering deep into eyes of the uniformed guard sitting there, I asked the magic question, “Where is the cancer walk being held?” The guard sitting behind the desk knew nothing about a “cancer walk.” As I was deciding what my next step would be, another guard appeared. After talking to someone on her radio, she told me to follow her. Within minutes, I was nearing the riverfront once more–but this time on foot. As I was about to go through the door leading outside, I spied two police officers. Having grown up at time when police officers were considered your friend, I approached them with the belief that they would know where to direct me. Bingo! They knew! “It is over there on Rivard Street about three blocks,” said one of them.
“Should I take my car?”
“Yes, it is quite a hike.”
Reluctantly, I opened the door and the wind welcomed me with a big gust! It pushed and tugged at me as I tried to walk up the hill leading to the garage where my car sat. Finally, I was seated in my warm car, fiercely tempted to head home. Why was I putting myself through all of this? A chance to display my book, The Unfolding of a Rose.” After several minutes, I wheeled into the parking lot of “the place.” I was glad to get there! Long before I exited my car, I saw numerous pink shirts brightening up the dismal day. A cheerful person gave me directions, but added, “I think it is over.” It was! The emcee was shouting out the last winning number of the auction. Grasping my book tightly, I walked around where the large crowd had been. These ladies came out to support the “walk.” Why? Because today’s walk represented one of the most important walks of their lives–a walk through fear, pain and darkness. A walk, though perhaps supported by family, each one took alone. No one can share the depth of their experience, unless having lived it. A walk my daughter had taken, but had chosen a different path–a path of faith, hope and God as the ultimate Physician. In the final stages of her life, my daughter gave up man’s way of fighting cancer, and relied totally on God. The book that I clutched in my hand told a story–her story! It will touch the heart and soul of anyone suffering or had suffered from that dread disease, no matter the path that had been chosen.
On October 11th, I will give many breast cancer survivors an opportunity to read my daughter’s story at a book signing in a special boutique that meets the needs of so many women. These woman are aware of the struggles, the doubts that must be overcome, and the courage it takes to wage a battle–a battle both physically and mentally.
The word “awareness” is one of the qualities of Soul. Its deeper meaning goes far beyond mere physical observation, but an awareness of God’s grace, love and protection. This awareness allows them to soar above the ills of the world on “eagles wings”–wings of courage, strength and respect. To all of the ladies who have made the trip through the deep valleys of pain and the mountains of fear, I salute you!