Heroes and Angels Among Us


Heroes and Angels Among Us

First published October 1, 2012 on facingcancer.ca

It is now 11 months since Katie’s diagnosis.  Our travels have been well chronicled in this blog.  This weekend just concluded however was remarkable in very many ways.

We celebrated Gabriel’s fifth birthday.  His actual birthday was the 26th but he had his first real party on Saturday.  Kate did a stupendous job with all of the planning and Gabe’s friends had a wonderful time and he’s just about come down from the chocolate cupcake and presents high.

Just seeing him celebrate with his friends was a truly wonderful occasion and keeping in mind where we’ve been this past year was a genuine celebration of his birth and his Mommy’s life.

Then, yesterday was another remarkable day when we participated for the first time in the Run for the Cure.

Now, for an admittedly often cynical, occasionally aggressively acerbic and apparently even “vicious” old man, this was a day of true awe.  We participated in the Burlington-Hamilton-Oakville run (along with “Both Sides” who had her own team in the event) under the banner of Kate’s Pigeons.

Accompanied by 30 of her colleagues from Pigeon Branding and Design, we took to the streets of Burlington and shared our blue angel wings with the throngs.  And throngs there were.

My lithsome wife soon left me in her dust and she, John Nishida, Rob Morrone, Heidi Avery, Gwyneth Fatemi, and Mark Romero-Marshall blasted off from the start line.  At the 4k mark she kicked it up and notch and with a smile as wide as the Mississippi she flew on wings of angels to the finish line where her parents and sons welcomed her.

The balance of the team, including this old timer, showed up sometime later but all of us elated with the event and the overwhelming good will that emanated from all involved.

I have written many many words about the task of riding shotgun.  About the highs and the lows.  And now that I have witnessed what happens when angels descend to play among us I realize that there are seminal moments in life when self-awareness delivers shocking clarity and perspective.

I encourage all of you caregivers to embrace the battle.  It is a sojourn full of rigour and mighty trials.  One of great and tiny triumphs.  One that will test the human spirit while revealing both the best and worst of our character.  Ultimately though…well, that’s why I included this photo…you will rent the curtain of bleakness and fatigue to find a shining opportunity to live every day as though it were your last by embracing the wonder that still surrounds us all.

Bless all of you in the battle and special thanks to the remarkable ‘family’ who have supported us and will continue to share the ride.  You are the angels among us.

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