You know those times in your life when you have an experience that makes you realize how small you are in this big ole world? The times where there is so much more out there, so much to believe in, where your faith in humanity is restored, and where you really feel alive… Relay for Life is that for me.
For the fourth year I’ve captured the 24-hour event, always humbled by the those in attendance. The dedication becomes more noticeable each year. I am often rendered speechless and holding back tears as I hold up my camera and seek out these moments. The dancing is one of my favorite parts, as you can see above.
Losing those we love is never an easy feat, but coming together with people who share in your grief and share in moments of celebration for their life is the real deal. When the opening ceremony begins, and everyone lines up to support the cancer survivors (all those wearing purple shirts), I hold back tears when I see the mom with her kids and husband, the baby, the old couple hand in hand, stand together to walk that first lap side by side. I get chills just remembering it. Then again, at the final ceremony of the first day, when a piper comes out to play and take a lap – everyone follows and everyone is silent. I cry here as the screen flashes with beautiful faces who are lovingly remembered. I’m reminded that this world is so much bigger than me and there is so much you can do with your time, your life, and that giving back is without a question, something everyone should do. I’m reminded that holding your loved ones closely is not to be taken for granted.