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Monday, September 22, 2008

I Will Remember You, Will You Remember Me?

Sometimes you are better off when you don’t get what you wish for. We had wished for our Memory Walk to be last weekend, but settled for this weekend instead. What a difference a week makes! Last Saturday I was flooded in, but Memory Walk day couldn’t have been more perfect if the request had gone straight from our lips to God’s ears.

It’s been a busy weekend. We began on Thursday evening with Bank Day. Besides collecting team money, we put together goody bags and handed out tee-shirts. Friday, I introduced our new coordinator, Lisa, to the fine art of schmoozing. This is a long-standing tradition with our Sedalia Memory Walk. We visit our corporate sponsors bearing gifts. It shows our appreciation and reminds everyone of the upcoming event.

Friday was a good day. Lisa and I solved our last two remaining problems: (1) ice and water and (2) balloons for our balloon release. When Wal-Mart gave us a gift card, we solved Problem #1 and knew we could buy water and ice the next morning. Problem #2 was balloons for our balloon release. I knew from past experience that inflating the balloons, tying them off, and hauling them around is not a job for sissies. Balloons and Tunes quoted Lisa fifty cents a balloon. For $25 we bought fifty white and purple balloons ready for flight.

Saturday morning, festive music played in the background, and Don the balloon man made magical animal figures and hats for children of all ages ranging from a few months to 96 years. We served breakfast snacks with coffee and plenty of iced down beverages. Center Stage Dance Academy performed three delightful dances that lived up to the slogan on their shirts: “Dance Like Everyone is Watching.”

We began our walk to “I Like to Move It” from Madagascar and finished our mile to “Chariots of Fire.” After the Walk, we gave away door prizes and awarded the two traveling trophies to Fairview. Lisa handed out balloons and with a purple marker, we wrote names of the loved ones we wanted to honor.

“Whose name would you like on your balloon?” I asked Connie from Fairview Nursing Home. Jim’s Team and Fairview have been long-time friendly rivals for the trophies. As a former coordinator, I truly appreciate their commitment to Memory Walk.

“Put Jim’s name on it,” she said. I wrote his name and drew a heart around it.

The music keyed up and fifty balloons soared to “I Will Remember You, Will You Remember Me?” Some of the balloons flew toward the heavens and some caught in the upper branches of a stately tree.

“Those are the ones who are still with us,” my Aunt Labetta said. Before the song was finished, most of the balloons slipped on through the tree and disappeared into the bluest sky possible. Tears flowed for our loved ones lost to the disease. We will always remember them with love, even when they don’t remember us.
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