60-mile Walk for Mom
Leonard Pitts Jr.
For The Cure
"I'm walkin', yes indeed." -- Fats Domino
I remember getting home from photocopying some paper I needed to complete my taxes, only to find my wife facing me with eyes so stricken and bereft that I didn't need to hear the words. I knew.
We rushed out to my sister's house, went into the room and there it was: the shriveled husk that until that day had contained my mom. I left the room at a trot, hand to mouth, the world blurred by tears.
My sisters, my brother and I spent the next hours crying, talking, reminiscing. Then, because it was still
Now here we are, 22 years later and your humble correspondent has just signed up to walk 60 miles over the course of three days this October as part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure. Komen, founded in 1982, describes itself as "the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists" and also the planet's largest nonprofit donor to the fight against breast cancer, having raised
All that notwithstanding, your humble correspondent had to sneak up on himself to make himself participate, had to commit before he could talk himself out of it. I am not an athletic fellow. Where physical labor is concerned, some might even say I was a lazy fellow. And 60 miles is, well ... "60 miles."
But after years of making excuses, I decided I could no longer spurn the opportunity to help raise money against this killer. So here I am, hitting up co-workers, siblings, friends and, yes, readers. (If you donate, please, please, "please" don't send your money to me. Go to www.the3day.org, click "Donate To A Participant" and input my name.)
The Komen people advise participants to write a letter to explain to potential donors why they are walking. I guess this is mine.
I am walking because I have a wife, two daughters, two sisters and dozens of women friends and, while breast cancer is not unknown among men (
So I am walking because I hate breast cancer.
I am walking because when kismet hits you hard, it is life-affirming to hit back.
And I am walking because
She was a neat lady, my mother.
She left here 22 years ago. Never saw her grandkids grow up, never met her great-grands, never saw that bookish boy fulfill those dreams. So if you ask me why I'm walking, well, I guess the answer is simple.
I miss my mom.
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Komen 3-Day For The Cure: 60-mile Walk for Mom | Leonard Pitts Jr.
(c) 2010 Leonard Pitts Jr.