Saturday, October 17, 2009
I don’t really know how to start off my walk story…
Should I separate it between walk and play date?
Should I talk about my Baby Mommas then my family?
I guess I will start at the beginning and see where it takes me…
I registered a few months back for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley, MD. I decided to put my own team together, “Team LJ”. My goal was to have 10 team members and $1000.00 in donations. That was my goal… My team took on a life of its own and was one of the most inspirational experiences in my entire life. I cannot think of it right now with out my heart expanding out of my chest and tearing up.
I had invited all my Baby Momma’s to join me in my walk. I made into a play date for all of our almost-two year olds. To my great surprise, there was 8 that were going me make the trip (2 from Texas, 2 from New York, 1 from Chicago, 1 from Michigan, 1 from Minnesota and 1 from Virginia). I was so excited. 4 of these women I had met before (Bridget, Sharon, Heather A. and Meg had met up the year before for a play date). But Diana, Tammy, Ari, and Leanne I was going to meet for the first time (although we had been online talking for over 2 ½ years).
We were all going to meet up at the Embassy Suites in Hunt Valley on Saturday. Meg picked up Tammy and her daughter Lauren at Dulles airport and came to my house and had lunch before we left for the hotel. My oldest, Elizabeth ended up sick that morning so Chris (my husband) stayed home with her and I took my 4 year old and 1 year old the hour trip to the hotel. As I unpacked, my best friend Daniella came in (she was staying the night in my room so we could leave early the next day for the walk). Then I received a text from Meg that they were all coming down into my room. I opened the door to meet these wonderful women that gave me the support and strength during this battle. I smiled as I saw the women walk up to me with their children. I had seen pictures of all of them before and beautiful pictures of their children so it was really like meeting an old friend.
As I turned around to close the door, a little boy walked into my room. I got worried cause I didn’t want him to lose his mommy, but then another child walked in, and another. I recognized these children; these were the children of my other Baby Mommas. I looked up and saw 12 out of our 17 mommies standing out side my hotel room!!! Unbeknownst to me, they had all gotten together and decided that they wanted to be with me when we walked, be with me while we played and they took, cars, plains, trains from all over the United States to support me this weekend. I cried…
These were the women that had set up a support group for me; they had all taken a week during my chemo treatments to send me gifts, cards, their love and support. And these women were going to be walking beside me during the walk. To me there could be nothing more fitting than that.
But their surprise had not ended there…
Mary Carole (from Kentucky) came over to me and said that she had wished that she gotten my present finished while I was going to go through chemo, but now she was so happy that she could give it to me herself.
It was a beautiful Pink Ribbon quilt, and along the edge had handprints from our 17 babies. Natalie’s were in the center of the quilt and the pink ribbon. Each child had their name embroidered under their handprints. At first I thought they were all the same, but as I looked at them, they were all different sizes and Mary Carole told me that she had messaged my husband and he had gotten Natalie’s handprints traced and sent them to, like all the other mommies. So they were the real handprints of the babies. I accepted the quilt with the deepest gratitude and the snottiest nose.
Then Tammy stood up and said that they had all wanted to get “Team LJ” shirts and instead of buying them, they were all made and she had made Me, Natalie and Aubrey all shirts. The front said “Team LJ” with a pink ribbon and on the back was our name (mine said “LJ”) and our babies birth number (Natalie was #11). Everyone had a shirt, it was great!!
These women had worked none stop for me since I thought up the play date. We all went downstairs to enjoy the bar and the kids the hotel, and then headed up for some sleep before our early morning for the survivor parade the next morning.
It think I will stop here for this post and do the walk on the next post!!