On Saturday July 30 proud cancer survivors and victims’ loved ones gathered for the over-night event Hollywood’s Relay for Life.
It’s hard to describe what I’m experiencing right now. It’s the middle of the night and I’m in a rocking chair solid enough to make Louisiana porches jealous and yet I’m in Hollywood, CA. The sounds of Phillip Glass waft out from speakers and wrap my mind in a soft pillow. (I’ve added the track below).
I’m under a tent with an older gentleman watching hundreds of proud cancer survivors and victims’ loved ones circle a high school track illuminated only by hundreds of candles. They will march through the night because they know that cancer never sleeps so neither will they.
It’s 9:57pm and less than an hour ago marked the halfway point of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Hollywood. Hundreds of Southern Californians gather together into teams, raising over $32,000 to be sent to the fronts of the ongoing battle against cancer. At 9pm began the Luminaria Ceremony.
All lights everywhere in sight have been extinguished. What remains are hundreds of flickering candles each lit for someone whose life has been permanently altered by the disease. Many of the teams here consist of families who have lost a teammate along the voyage. Here among the cold tears and warm smiles lies the true essence of family visible as they march along the illuminated path arm-in-arm, grandmother and granddaughter, father and son.