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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Feel The Point

Growing up in a loveless, broken home as I did, moving from town to town - I've naturally become a pretty distant person. I never wanted to get too involved in anything because there's always a cost I wasn't willing to pay. I love being able to say, "I did my part. I got the job done; so what if I didn't smile or make friends?" Once again my beautiful girlfriend taught me there can be more to life. She hit me up the other day...

Hi baby, I have a favor to ask. Can you please donate to the American Cancer Society in honor of me losing my Nena to cancer?

Sure thing, babe. Just let me know how.

Thank you baby! I'll send you the link. Also I'm putting together a team for the twelve hour relay they are having at Baldwin Park High School. It's this Saturday. Put on your walking shoes!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what? Twelve hour relay?

Yeah, basically we need to have at least one member of our team walking around the track from 9:00 AM till 9:00 PM.

What? Babe I have better things to do on a Saturday than walk around a track for twelve freaking hours!

Baby, don't be like that! It's for charity. And you won't be walking the whole time; that's why we have a team.

Sorry, I'm just not down to walk around a track all day. I'm already donating. That's the important part. That's how they find a cure. Me walking around in a circle all day doesn't help anyone. So what's the point?

Please Brick! You know it's important to me.

*Sigh* alright fine. Sign me up. 

So I woke up on Saturday, put on my "walking shoes" as instructed, and headed to BP High. Though I wasn't in the best mood on my drive over, I lightened up once I met up with our team. I had already met most of the people on our team through other functions my girl had had before. We joked around, ate some snacks, and put in miles taking our turns walking around the track. My fitbit loved me that day. This wasn't so bad. I thought to myself as the day wore on.

Then about 5:00 PM the event organizers put out lunch bags all along the track. The bags had personal messages written in honor of those who passed away by the loved ones who survived them. This time around the track there was no joking. I observed the tears roll down my girl's cheeks as she saw the lunch bag she made in honor of her Nena. I rubbed her back in silent support.

Next, they put out pictures of all the loved ones that had passed away. There were so many faces from all walks of life. "Cancer doesn't discriminate," one of my girl's friends observed. The pictures of children broke my heart the most. They would never get the chance to live out their full potential. Once the sun went down, they lit the candles they had placed on the bleachers. They spelled out the simple yet profound message, "HOPE."

At the event's end, all the participants did one more lap around the track with glow sticks in hand. It was sad yet beautiful to see all these people brought together by tragedy. They wrapped up the event with a speech from the head organizer. She could not hold back the tears as she recounted how her little cousin ended up in the emergency room. She died of cancer a mere two weeks later. "Get yourselves tested. Tell your family; tell your loved ones. It's important."

On my drive home I got to thinking about how valuable that message was. How it never would have hit home had I just donated without participating like I originally intended. What I had said was the "most important part" was perhaps the least. It was similar to when I used to ask my mom why we had to go to church if God is everywhere. We are human; we are tactile in nature. To get involved is to be alive.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Alda "Chrissie" and Gilbert "Tats" Loera

Also dedicated to my beautiful babygirl who gives me life and helps me grow to be a better person. I love you baby, thank you for being you.

Check out my book: Moby Brick's Unshuffled Deck, and my blog: They're All Against Me! 

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