One of the joys of my 3-Day journey is sharing the experience with my husband, George. This year marks our 14th walk together, and the weekend always brings us joy for the life we share. We know how fortunate we are that neither of us has had to fight cancer, and we hold hands a little tighter each time we see a walker who has lost their soul mate.
Bob S. began his 3-Day story with his wife Jean, as members of the 3-Day Crew in 2002. He walked again in 2010 and 2011, and made his 5th 3-Day journey in Chicago this summer. When Jean died of breast cancer in 2009, Bob channeled his immeasurable sorrow into conviction to continue the fight. Like many other walkers, he walks with the memory of his wife in his heart. Here’s what Bob had to share with me about Jean.
“As I write this, it is the 4th anniversary of Jean’s funeral. It’s hard to describe the loss unless one has experienced it.”
“Many people ask, ‘Why me?’ Jean’s response was always, ‘Why NOT me? 200,000 women a year are diagnosed. Who said I get a pass?”
“Jean did everything right. Doctors. Surgeries. Chemo. Radiation. All western medicine has to offer. In 2009 Jean came home from her last hospital stay, and died 8 days later. I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. She was too weak to speak the last 2 days – but when she could speak she had two sentences – ‘It is time,’ and ‘Take me quickly.’ Jean’s faith pulled us through. She had been a Catholic Nun, and I a Catholic Priest – prayer and faith helped us greatly. Jean would have loved to be at Haley’s First Communion – our only grandchild.”
“3-Day participants are not random people who happen along. The 3-Day family is made up of people with a very personal experience with cancer. They are survivors, families, and spouses like me. It is the openness and support – the sense of family – that gives me great memories. The Remembrance Tent in particular is always a special place to remember Jean.”
We asked Bob what he looked forward to this year when he walked in Chicago. “Reaching the finish on Day 3 and entering the holding area at Soldier Field is very special. Another year finished, more memories, and more funds raised.” Well done, Bob. You – and Jean – are an inspiration!
Do you walk in memory of a loved one? Are there other husbands and wives who share their 3-Day journey? Please share your special 3-Day moments in the comments below.