Write Away Cancer

I am bummed out.

Yesterday was a Relay for Life event that my school district helps coordinate and run.

I wanted to go.

They had fundraisers all week.  I paid $10 to wear jeans this week to show my support.

We “bought” a luminary for $10 to decorate in memory of Cort’s dad.

Eddie colored, Cort chose pics of his dad, and I assembled

We planned to go to the opening ceremony last night at 6pm and do a lap, find our luminary, take some pictures, and show our support.

But then we didn’t.

Work ran late, dinner ran late, and by the time we could have gotten packed up and driven the 40 minutes back to my school?  It would have been bedtime for Eddie.

And it ended up raining cats and dogs.

But I can’t just shrug my shoulders and say, “oh well, maybe next year.”

This is important to me.  To us.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying and talking with Cortney about this space here.  This blog. I even mentioned in my entry into the Mom Central Grant Contest (which I did not win), that I wanted to use the grant to make Sluiter Nation more than just me. But I didn’t know what.

Do I want to advocate for PPD and other perinatal mood disorders?  Absolutely.

Do I want to rally around mothers of perinatal loss?  Most definitely.

Do I want to contribute to finding cures for diseases and conditions that have affected our loved ones like stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, Juvenile Diabetes, among others?  YES!

But what kept coming back over and over in my mind and heart?  I want to teach Eddie about his Papa Steve.

all he has are pictures of his Papa

I’ve written about Cort’s dad’s cancer and his death and my experience with being an outsider with it all.  Some of the posts have been here, some on my other blog, Exploded Moments.

Cancer is such a big evil.

It not only takes away loved ones, but it tortures them and their loved ones in the process.

It forces us to watch a deterioration of a person so vibrant and larger than life.  We watch as he becomes smaller and smaller until he is blinked out.

We watch and think about what he will miss.

He will miss all his grandchildren.

He will miss his daughter’s wedding.  And then his son’s.

He will miss college graduations.

He will miss our lives and will will painfully miss his.

Cancer is more than just a sucky disease.

It took Eddie’s paternal Grandpa.  His Papa.  The reason we are Sluiter Nation.

I am afraid Eddie won’t know his Papa because he is not here.

I can’t let that happen.

Cort and I want to teach him about his Papa and about what took him away.  We want to make cancer awareness and fundraising a part of Sluiter Nation.

But all I have are my words.

I don’t know how to do anything but write.

But I want to learn how to make my words bigger than just me.

I want to learn how to make this space something other than me rambling.

I will never, ever stop telling my PPD stories or my miscarriage stories because I know they help people.  I will tell those stories here, there, and everywhere.  I will advocate for those things until I am blue in the face.

But I also need to write about cancer.

I need to not let Papa Steve out of our life.

I need to write away cancer.

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