… even in the rain.
Team ML, reduced to just a few of us due to last minute commitments, rain and spastic colons, soldiered on to the Relay for Life event last night at UVA in Charlottesville. Sub-team Wech10 represented (me, duty and Justin ‘o Love) as well as sub-team VCU (Vanessa and Vinny – they put the V in LuV, dontchaknow?) and of course, the Dad of love, Steve (rolling in at the very last minute as is tradition in his family!). I imagine if I were a. a college student and/or b. an extrovert and/or c. not so fresh from a 3.5 hour car ride in hella rain, I would have gotten more into the spirit of things. There were lots of people, festivities and warm vibes floating around, even in the spitty rain. Duty was in his element – a good cause, people to talk to, directions to give (when we were lucky we found the place ourselves!). We kept encouraging Justin to pass himself off as a freshman and chat up some of the bosomy chickies walking the track. Alas, he hung out with the old farts (me) most of the time but I am pretty sure he ogled on the DL.
‘Round about 8:30, they gathered us all up and announced that they were honoring one of their own (La) with a silent lap. The on-campus organization in which Lauren participated (FORCE) had created a big tie-dyed banner with “In memory of Lauren” spray painted on it. They had those same words on the sleeve of their tshirts too. It was very sweet. I did my little speech (text to follow) and then we all walked silently around the track with Team FORCE leading the way. In case you feel compelled to ask, the answer is yes. I cried while reading my tribute. I wouldn’t be me if tears weren’t somehow welling up behind these hazel eyes, right? UVA has been nothing less than amazing in their kindness to our family and this event was a lovely tribute to the “Silent Shiner”.
While Duty tends to think that we often interpret events as being meaningful when maybe they are nothing but events, I believe otherwise. From a couple songs that were playing (“Wonderwalls”, “Calling all angels”) to the rainbow that appeared, Lauren’s spirit was there for sure.
Sending a special shout out to Vanessa for the lovely card and angel gift. You are a sweetie and I’m so glad you were there. Watch those flying benadryl bottles, girly! :)
(Pics and text to be posted a bit later. Must go visit the mother today. Saints deliver us.)