Wow, what a month! All our hard work paid off and then some. MS surely did not see me and my peeps coming when it decided to attack me. With the support of the amazing people in my life we had representation all over the COUNTRY walking to SHINE a light on a CURE for MS and raising a hell of a lot of money along the way (How does over $11,000.00 and counting sound to you?!?!) It started in New Hampshire with the Village People North making a mighty fine showing. I had family and friends by my side walking the five mile course through downtown Portsmouth, NH in rain and close to freezing temps. Not one complained about the elements. We laughed..I mean we belly laughed and we cried and we shared some really big love. I was moved to tears at the amazing support from so many people coming from so many different places in my life. I offer up many heartfelt prayers of thanks for all that were with me Heather, Lynn, my mother in law Joanne, my sister in law Jennifer, Joanna and Sue. A special thanks to Tracy my traveling companion, Ellen, Sean and Tonya the great organizers, my dear friend Mike for flying in from Chicago for the event, and last but not least Jon and Rose the host and hostess with their most and mostess.
We had representation in New Jersey with my unofficial little sister Staci. Her mom has MS and we were introduced by a mutual friend. Staci is an amazing woman who put together 2 teams of Catamount Cruisers, one in NJ the other at college in Vermont.
Yesterday we had peeps in the east and in the west. Starting in Maine with my dear friend Melissa. She and her family were walking in Portland Maine in support of their beloved Coco (that's me)...moving to Vermont where Staci and her college friends walked 6 miles...to the west where my brother Donnie and friend Jill represented in Salt Lake City with their friends...back to the east coast and Raleigh, NC where I had the most amazing day walking 3 miles surrounded by my fabulous 4, James, Julia, Jenna and Jackie Rose...along with the most loving group of friends a girl could ask for...more heartfelt prayers of thanks sent up to the big guy for Erin, Tracy, Holly, Darren, Carmen, Laura, Linda, Christine, Pete, Dave, Kristen, Matt, Lizzie, Kathy, Brenda, Anne, Julie, Sandie, Amanda, Sandy, Kerrie, Scott and ALL the kids....Katie, Nick, Sophia, Ashleigh, Georgia Kate, Sophie, Mikey, Emma, Caroline, Olivia, and Emma.
As I look back today at the pictures from all the walk events I see so much more than meets the eye. I see so many people that have given something of themselves, a piece of their heart to make a difference. These people donated money (which to be honest is the point of these walks) but they gave so much more than that...they offered a piece of themselves to me. They gave without expecting anything in return. They supported me in ways that go above and beyond. Phone calls, emails, cards, letters, videos, texts, meals, child care, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear without trying to "fix it". And then there were the hugs, kisses and embraces that without words spoke volumes of the love they have in their hearts.
I have always tried to give more than I get. I have always tried to instill in my girls that the only way to live is by living the way Jesus would want you to, by loving one another and treating all with the love and respect you want to be treated with...I am certainly not perfect...in fact far from it...but I do try to be the best I can be...some days that's pretty darn good and other days I am hanging on by a string. For all these people to see my good days and appreciate them and then on the days I am hanging by a string to lift me up and carry me...well even I do not have words for that.
The journey is not over and I am still in the fight of my life....but the army that God has provided me with to win this war is all I need. The first battle has been fought and I declare the winners to be THE VILLAGE PEOPLE north, south, east and west. thank you for being a part of my village. I love you all so much more than those three little words can truly express...