Here's the essay that won...
Why I Walk by Margie Maierle
To try to put my finger on why I am walking in the 3 day breast cancer walk is like trying to nail down jello. There are so many reasons. I walk for those who have passed before us, I walk for those who have survived. I walk for those who held their breath during a breast exam or a mammogram, and who held their breath waiting for the results.
My mom died when I was 16 months old, she was 31. Both of these ages seem too young. I walk in the hope that one day I hope that I can truly celebrate Mother’s Day. I am a mother of a beautiful daughter, but when I think of Mother’s Day, I think of all the projects made for someone else, not my mom. I think of the flowers brought to her grave. I think of all the times when someone would hear that I didn’t have a mom and ask me about it.
I walk because the one thing my mother taught me long after she was gone was how much you can love your children. I walk in honor of my mom who knew love so big that she chose my life over hers. She didn’t have the option of treatment, She was pregnant when she found out she had breast cancer. Well, she had the option, but it would have killed me, because she was pregnant with me. She chose my life, in doing that, she chose to give up her own. She loved me before she knew me, that much. After she died, the doctor told my dad that even if she would have had the treatment, she wouldn’t have survived anyway, that was almost 33 years ago. In honor of her choices, I named my daughter Phyllis, after her. A name that in my mind, only means one thing, love.
For most of my life, I thought I would die young, I thought that before the age of 32, I would too, die. I celebrated my 32nd birthday, not my 30th. I held my breath the entire day that my daughter was the same age as me (to the day) when my mom died. It sounds silly, but to me, it didn’t seem silly. I walk so that Breast cancer will not be a death sentence. I walk so that no other child will know the pain of losing a mother.
I walk in honor of my dad, my cousins, my aunts, uncles, and all of my family who miss her. I walk in honor of my daughter who never had the opportunity to meet someone with that much love. I walk in honor of myself who has daily struggles of missing her mom, and misses that I can’t just pick up a phone and call her.
I walk for hope.
I walk for a mother’s love.