People ask me, “Why are you doing this?”
Well, that’s a complex answer.
1. Yes, as a tribute to Maureen; not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. I’m starting to think that will never change.
2. As a way to help other women I know who are fighting this awful disease. Every bit of funding helps research.
3. For the guys. For the men in the lives of those women.
I’ve been one of them.
You don’t go through what I experienced and remain unchanged. I am a different man today than I was prior to 2010. While I’ve gotten on with my life, it’s a different life. And there is no sugar-coating that. If my walking 39 miles can help one of my fellow men NOT have to go through what I went through, good.
“Survivor guilt” is a real thing, folks. I deal with it every day. Especially since my wife was so outgoing, personable, popular, dynamic, etc… they say opposites attract. I guess it’s true.
I would try to spare other husbands that feeling of helplessness. That powerful, almost consuming energy that builds up in us, and all we can do is stand there and listen to the surgeon, or the oncologist, tell us the worst news possible. The powerlessness.
And then, later, to have to pick out which clothes of hers to give to goodwill. To sell her car. And her artwork. To determine what to do with her jewelery.
To have to go through all of her documents, to determine what to keep, and what to shred.
To change your facebook profile from “Married” to “Widowed.”
Guys, this is the world’s shittiest club to belong to. I would really rather you didn’t join me. So. Cough up ten bucks. Maybe fifty. And if it’s been a good day, maybe a hundred.
Could you do a little more? You tell me. Stop reading this. Go walk over to your wife or girlfriend. Kiss her on the top of the head. Tell her you love her. And then think, what if this is the last time I ever get to do this?
Because, fellas? With this disease affecting one out of every eight women in the country, some day you might just look at her for the last time.
You might have to kiss her for the last time.
Hold her hand for the last time.
Play her favorite song on your iPod for the last time.
Did that sink in? Good. Having thought about that, let’s try for $250.