kimblanchard Posted June 4, 2004 Share Posted June 4, 2004 I am headed out to an American Cancer Society Relay for Life tonight. I decided that I could volunteer at that. I definitely did not have the energy or inclination to put together a team and try and raise the $1000 they ask for. So I negotiated a few hours of volunteering in exchange for a candle for Becky. They wanted me to make a donation, but I told them no. If I am going to donate money or ask my friends to donate money, it is going to be to cure lung cancer and not to stop smoking campaigns. I don't want to get a whole thing going again. I understand the value of the stop smoking campaigns, but they would have done nothing for us. So I am conflicted about the ACS, and so I am not giving them money nor asking my friends for it. I went to an organizational meeting the other night, led by two ridiculously happy women. I have always been a curmudgeon, even if I am too young for the title, so this was not a reaction because Becky has died; I would have disliked their effusive happiness anyway. And I really don't want to be preached to by 23 year olds. Live a little first, then come talk to me, that's my motto. Anyway, they were completely unprepared for somebody who didn't think the ACS was the greatest organization in the history of civilization. I was quiet; I usually avoid conflicts like these that serve little purpose. I am happy the ACS exists, I guess, and I am glad there are people like these because they are necessary to get these events going. So the last thing I want to do is rain on their parade. Anyway, when it came out that my wife had died of cancer, one of the happy women told me I should organize a team. I said simply that I don't raise money for the ACS. It is my great pet peeve that people will not leave well enough alone. But this was one of those happy women. So she pressed on. Why not? I am conflicted about the ACS and so if I am going to pass a hat to my friends, which I have already done a lot of recently, I am going to make sure it is an organization that I am not conflicted about supporting. Still, I thought, a very unemotional answer that made it clear, I thought, that this was a well-reasoned decision and not likely to be changed over quesadillas and fruit salad. But, lo, the happy woman wanted to change the world, starting with me and then. So she asked me why I am conflicted. I looked down at my bracelet - WWBD - what would Becky do? - yes I am irreverent, too, but that is part of my charm - thought about what Becky would do, then decided to completely ignore it and let this poor girl have it. And so I gave her the diatribe. About how I thought all of the focus on smoking really made things worse for actual patients because it reinforced the unconcious tendency people have for thinking that we deserve it if we smoked. Made it easier to find other priorities for our health care dollars and just give up on the current patients. It went on for a while, but y'all know too well what I was saying, so there is no need for it here. So in a couple of hours, I am headed off to fill up paper bags with sand and candles. Then I am organizing the volleyball tournament for the teams members not currently on the track. Then I will skip out on the survivor party; I don't think I am ready for a pep rally about how we are winning the fight on cancer. Maybe someday. But I will have to believe it, first. And I don't now. And then I will come back for the lighting of the candles. And light one for Becky. Curtis Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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