My mother-in-law’s Relay (the one in the area she lives, she actually runs several) was last night. We tried to hurry over there after work, but we weren’t sure where it was as it was in a new location. Once we found it, the rain dropped out of the sky like someone was pouring a gigantic bucket over us. We caught the shuttle bus and made it through the worst of it. Once my husband registered as a survivor, we started looking for his mother. Her phone was dead, so we couldn’t call… it’s usually pretty easy to pick her out of a crowd.
She saved us the trouble and rolled up on the back of a very big ATV with a trailer attached to it. She yelled out to my husband, “do you want to fire the cannon?” Of course he does, he’s a red-blooded male. So, we’re off on the ATV trailer, through the crowds, getting bits of mud and lots of sprinkly rain all over us. We make it to the cannon and all that good business happens. They intend to fire it after the Opening Ceremonies, but it misfires, so we go for during the Survivor Lap instead.
The cannon acts like a giant smoke grenade and bombs the area with thick, white smoke. The survivors continue on undaunted and we join in once they begin to pass us. Once we finish the lap, mother-in-law is waiting for us at the end. We follow her around for a bit until some friends show up (they were at last year’s relay, too) so we hang out with them. They just had a baby recently, but she’s safe with her great aunt for the time being.
My father-in-law is present, as always, only this time he’s with his business and he’s selling deep fried oreos. Eugh, no thanks! My husband and our friends try some. We get tons of funny pictures, including my husband and one friend posing with a mammogram sign.
Many, many, many laps and laughs later, it’s getting pretty late and our friends depart. We go back to hang with mother-in-law and close out the night at around 10 or so. We didn’t get home and settled until around 11, where we promptly had a bath to wash off the copious amounts of grime and relax our tired muscles. I went to bed before 12, I was so tired! Work had been busy, I helped clean the evidence processing garage and they had me doing a lot of running.
Before the move, I volunteered pretty heavily with my mother-in-law for the American Cancer Society. In part, I did so because of my husband, but also because… I liked it. When I first moved down here, my mother-in-law slowly introduced me to her world and I was engrossed. I followed her around and did everything I could do to help, completely unpaid but fulfilled. I miss it terribly and things like this just remind me all the more of how I wish I could still be there, helping.
Events like this always remind me of the better things in life. My husband may drive me insane sometimes, but I love him and am constantly thankful for him. I am a better person because of him and I think he’s a better person because of me, too… not that he needed much help to begin with in some areas.
My husband is a very kind and giving soul, even if he tries to hide it. It’s small things, things that you wouldn’t notice until you’re really looking for them. At work, one of his coworkers had a sister-in-law who survived a brain tumor. Her sister-in-law was raising money through facebook and my husband overheard the conversation between his coworker and her sister-in-law on the phone. Without saying a word, he found her on facebook and donated money. His coworker caught him in the act and tried to convince others to do the same. They said they would, but they didn’t.
We had a collection at work for one of our janitors who is retiring. He’s a old, friendly man and I am very grateful for the help he’s given me. I went upstairs to tell my husband to give some money, but he beat me to it. One of his coworkers was collecting donations. Her hand was filled with ones, but he gave her a ten. She looked kind of surprised and said thanks and continued on. I didn’t even need to say anything, he barely knew the guy, but was still prepared to part with hard-earned money to get him a parting gift.
I saw the money in her hand and noted how little there was, my husband didn’t notice until after he had already given her his donation. When he saw this, he looked kind of sad, “I should have given a little more…”