Up at 4:15 am yesterday to help with the spring Girls on the Run of the Tri-County race, then off to Clemson to help my son move home for the summer. My husband was off for a much needed guy weekend, and my anxiety level was high about getting this done without spousal support. I need not have worried. When I got there, the bed had not only been taken apart, but loaded in his car, along with the mattress, and everything was packed up neatly. The siblings and elder daughter’s boyfriend were invaluable help and happy to be paid with a stop at the local burger place on College Ave. (I will not pop this bubble by describing the state of the bathroom sink and shower. Let’s move on). Headed home in a downpour with that stop-and-go traffic on I-85. Then as we approached my front yard in the dark deluge, my headlights hit on this:
I’m not gonna lie. My tired brain cursed the friend whom I knew had sent it my way. It was raining so hard that I didn’t even go out to investigate this work of art. We didn’t even begin to unpack the cars.
But this morning, after a good night’s sleep and quiet time on the back porch, listening to the morning thunder, the clouds parted for a few minutes. My thoughts turned back to the inconvenience of the bright pink tire and plastic flowers on my front lawn. So lovely, but I didn’t want them to stay forever. I had to figure out how to make them disappear.
Then I realized that many friends, family, and people I have never even met have had this same experience–the inconvenience of discovering an obdurate tractor tire out of the blue, at the end of an exhausting day, not on their front lawns, but in their breasts, colons, livers, lungs, throats, bones, bone marrows, cervices, ovaries, or brains, and sometimes many of these all at once. They don’t have the option of sending an email and getting it removed with the click of a mouse and a credit card. It’s so much more than an inconvenience. For them, the bright pink tractor tire is not a joke. It’s threatening to kill them, and it’s not going anywhere without a lot of coordinated care, a lot of money, and a lot of pain.
I find myself wishing I could send the tire to all my friends, not just one lucky person, to raise money for cancer research and prevention. I find myself saying a prayer for this fellow mother, sister, daughter, friend, who is helping to raise my awareness and crush my nonchalance by placing this weighty, inconvenient piece of art on my grass. I pray that many hands will help her lift the pink tires scattered across her body, carry them off, and recycle them, perhaps into lifesaving tools (like the HPV vaccine) to prevent other cancers in other bodies.
And so I am taking this inconvenient opportunity not only to click on the link to support Angela Robinson, a former teacher at my children’s high school with metastatic breast cancer, but to send a donation in support of cancer research and prevention as well. Peace be with you on this Sunday, Angela, and with all of those who are made to ponder how grateful we are for those we love in this life through things that at first seem so inconvenient.