Monday, November 3, 2008

Why I Walk....

I walk for Nelva. For Granny Nelva. For Auntie Nelva. For "Hosting the Election this Week" Nelva. For bread-baking and pickle-making and wild-plum-picking Nelva.

I want to be just like Nelva when I grow up. That's pretty much always been my goal. She can get you to do chores after Sunday lunch without ever making you think it was her idea. She can coach an amateur bread-baker over the phone while juggling lunch for Uncle Don and whoever he's drug in. She welcomes Biggs' hunting buddies with hospitality and graciousness and a kindness that keeps them coming back.

She's been my substitute Granny for a long, old time. At 69, she and I braved a hurricane to watch Rana compete in the Miss America pageant. How many people can say that?

But Auntie Nelva knows all too well the ravages of cancer. She has nursed far too friends through cancer treatments and mourned far too many of them after they died. Not a year after losing her baby sister to cancer, she faced the terrifying cancer diagnosis with Uncle Don. Luckily, they caught his early and he seems to be on the mend.

I walk for Nelva. Because you don't have to have breast cancer to have your life's course altered by this disease.

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