Monday, June 28, 2010

Real Zeal for Teal

Well, we made it! As far as I can tell, and from a quick scan of the evaluation forms, a good time was had by all.

Saturday may have been a bit gloomy with a weather pleasing only to ducks, but the sun was certainly shining inside the Drayton Arena at our 2nd annual Zeal for Teal - A Day at the Beach.

[PHOTO: The Sunflower Seeds Committee 2010; Zeal for Teal]

This Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) Winner's Walk of Hope fundraiser welcomed around 40 eager scrappers and vendors alike.

Not only did we raise some funds for OCC and hopefully helped raise a little awareness about ovarian cancer too, we had a blast. A roomful of happy women, sharing in a relaxing day, good food and some great shopping experiences - how lovely is that once in a while?

Jan, one of the gals who hails from Burlington, made me a precious little gift...a card that reads the following:

[PHOTO: Jan & Lee sharing their talents!]

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...

It cannot cripple love.

It cannot shatter hope.

It cannot corrode faith.

It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.

It cannot kill friendship.

It cannot shut out memories.

It cannot silence courage.

It cannot reduce eternal life.

It cannot quench the Spirit.

When I was going through my chemo, my sweet long distance Florida friend sent me a plaque with this poem inscribed upon it. I remember the timing. That morning, when I opened up my package, I cried my eyes out. It was a good cry, though, and just what I needed at the time. Reassurance that all will be well was the order of the day. God knew what I needed that day.

When Jan handed me the gorgeous, handcrafted easel card on Saturday the timing was once again right. Her thoughtful gift made me stop, inhale, and think about my blessings and also my OC sisters everywhere.
How blessed am I as I read through the Canadian statistics - 2500 women are diagnosed each year; 1700 women die from ovarian cancer each year?

But the good news is, if ovarian cancer is detected early, there is a 90% chance of survival! I'm hoping I can stand up and be counted in that number!

Meanwhile we will keep doing what we do.

Special thanks to all who attended our 2nd Annual Zeal for Teal. You completed our day.
You are the best!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Silver Mirror

Her tresses tickled her forehead as she gazed into the silver hand held mirror. Her mother had told her she could have that silver dressing table set when she died. How she treasured it.

The tarnished covering begged to be clean once again and it really was on her list of things to do. But she had been too busy, as usual. And it simply had not been a priority.

She would have given it back in a moment, though, if only she could feel the loving arms of her sweet mother once more.

It was a fleeting, childlike thought, but the woman wondered what might happen if she rubbed her mirror with silver polish. As she did, she remembered the story of Aladdin and his lamp. She remembered reading how when he rubbed his silver lamp, the genie appeared and Aladdin's wishes were granted.

What would she wish if it were so? Aladdin was granted three. Dare she desire the same? For what would she ask if she was granted three, too?

Crystal tears glimmered in her eyes has she contemplated.

As she held the mirror, she slowly turned it. A vision of what had once been, flashed across the hand held silver piece. Her life, played out, before her as she desperately tried to drop it. Her heart pounded. Her chest felt as if it would burst. Her knuckles, white, clenched the handle of the mirror and stuck like strong glue. She wanted to drop the mirror and run. She wanted to deny the vision; to pretend it wasn't so.

The mirror grew large and murky. The filth that had been her life exuded forth. The bad choices. The stupid words. The thoughtless deeds. It was all there, reflecting a life that was a shambles, a waste, a desecration.

She tried to look away in abject desperation. What was causing the palpitations and the sinking, sickening, churning feeling in the pit of her stomach?

She tried to shake the silver mirror that burned her clenched fist. She wanted to run and hurl the wretched silver mirror. But her grip tightened. A fire raged and now she could not even turn her eyes from the vision. In her desperation she sought for words. Her mind reeled.


Two wishes dropped desperately from her dry, cracked lips.

I wish I had not hurt You
I wish I could make it up to You

Just as she was about to buckle and fall, her grip loosened on the silver mirror. Her knuckles relaxed and her once shallow, panicked breath sounds became more rhythmic and quieter.

She looked at the mirror once again. Her eyes, drawn to the vision, widened at the sight.

A faraway cross. She looked closer. A solitary oaken tree with a crossbar. Then a man. His brilliant garment was whiter than what she could ever have imagined. She watched Him kneel to gather the remnants of her life. She watched Him breathe over the seething coals.

"Forgiven," He whispered.

She turned her head from the silver mirror. She was back. She was free.

Once again she looked in the mirror. This time, she saw her reflection as it was. The few creases on her forehead made her smile. The terror that cursed through her veins - obliterated and non-existent.

As she stroked the glass, she thought she saw her mother; smiling, sitting next to Him. Oh how she longed to be with her. She peered closer. She knew, then, what her final wish would be...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Relay for Life

Rest and Tickling Time with Momma bear and her jolly little cubs at Relay for Life.
Two year old Jocelyn walked 440yards around the track in her little pink sleepers! Now that's the tenacity of a two year old!

Four year old Trenton rode around the track 5 times on his mighty red bicycle with training wheels. What a trooper!

Grandma and Jocelyn jogging around the track (sort of.) The only way to travel!

One of the nicest lions I have ever met and Erin, the organizer, welcome the troops!

RELAY FOR LIFE - June 4, 2010


Never underestimate the enthusiasm and amazing joy and determination of our youth! My darling daughter, Amanda, and my sweet grandbabies trekked out last Friday evening and joined the sterling student body at St. James Catholic High School in Guelph at their very first Relay for Life. It was a grand evening. I have sent a message to St. James High School Principal expressing my sincere gratitude and for inviting me to be part of their first Relay for Life sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society.


"Dear Principal Ingram:

You should be proud to be the principal of St.James Catholic High School. I certainly was proud for you and your entire student body who attended your first (hopefully annual) Relay for Life last Friday evening. I was honoured to have been invited to participate as a one and a half year cancer survivor.

Too often we hear about all the negative behaviour and poor choices of youth in society but I want to stand on your St.James rooftop and tell everyone how great young people are, especially those St. James cast and crew who I had the privilege of meeting last Friday. My daughter, grandson and granddaughter accompanied me that evening and we were thrilled to be in the company of such charming, fun-filled, purpose driven students.

Right off the top, I was hugged by the sweet Miss Angela McCleod who willingly shared cake, juice and then her incredible story that made me cry. I tapped into her enthusiasm and energy right away and being slightly over half a century myself, that was no easy task. But I managed to make it 9 times non-stop around the track, intent on first giving thanks that I had regained enough strength to make it. Then my daughter and I, along with our trusty tots in tow, walked for Uncle Don who we buried just last Thursday from lung and liver cancer. Then we walked for Aunt Pauline who is in hospital in Toronto and slowly dying from breast cancer as we speak. Then there was Doc Mott and Cindy and Daria, and Judy and Karen and far too many more who are still fighting the good fight.

Hats off, to the organizers, Erin and Derek. I am sure there were many others involved, but those are the names I remember. The beautiful singers were amazing and when the words Allelujah echoed across the busy track as we walked, I could do nothing but sing along, raise my hands and give thanks for everyone of the wonderful kids who surrounded me. From superman and Spiderman flying by and decked out in all their finery, to the friendliest lion I have ever met (thanks for removing your head for a moment to appease Jocelyn and Trenton!) I was moved in more ways than you can imagine.

So, I hope the Relay for Life was considered a success. It surely was in my heart and soul. My daughter was equally moved and as she has been my stalwart 'rock' throughout my journey, I was overjoyed that she and my grandbabies accompanied me to St.James last week.

I am including a few photographs. Every young person had a smile or a word of encouragement. One sweet gal even asked me to sign her shirt. How humbling is that? Bless you all. My prayers are that each one of your students make good choices and make a mark in this world. Whoever I saw or met last Friday sure made a mark on my heart. Thanks for the memories. And special thanks to Simone Roesink who invited me to be part of this special event. Joy!

Kind Regards, Glynis Belec a (very thankful) ovarian cancer survivor from Drayton, Ontario!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

They Say...

This poem (from my mother's poetry collection) is dedicated to Uncle Don who passed away this past Saturday from cancer. He was 57 years old.

I hope he is strumming his guitar quietly at the feet of Jesus right now.
They say you will not come again,
But I can always here.
Your voice in silence and in song
And feel you ever near.

They say that you have passed beyond
Unto the land of supreme
But I can always call you back
Into the land of dream

For death is but a gateway
To the great reality
A new beginning and an end
Of Human Destiny

Love is all and life goes on
In spite of grief and pain
But deep within my heart I know
That we shall meet again...