It's taken me almost a month to post this, and I must apologise.
Because it's such a horrible photo.
Actually, almost every photograph taken on the day of the event was rather dire, and this is the next best one - after the one I used for my Thank You cards - that shows evidence of my presence at the event. It also captures my general state of elation at having to wear The special Blue T-Shirt that Survivors get. I'm happy to single myself out in the crowd as a Survivor in The Blue T-Shirt, but I must confess that it's not my favourite colour, and it fits horribly over the already-excessive layers of clothing I had on beneath it. It was a chilly morning, what can I say.
You may notice that the box beneath the words 'My hope for the future is..." is not filled in. What was I expected to write in that box? "A cure"? "To live"? "To eat the ice cream I know is waiting at the finish line"? I still don't know what belongs in that box that isn't coated in the dark response that came to mind when I first saw it: "Nothing". Is it okay to not have hopes for the future? It saves on a whole lot of disappointment, perhaps. Or maybe there are just so many that they'd never fit, so why try to scribble them all into such a tiny frame.
There were other photos we took in which I am smiling and looking proud and happy and deeply moved by the support of so many people. I really was. I just can't put them up because they have been vetoed by the other family members whose faces are in it. So all you get to see is me looking a bit skeptical and unimpressed in The Blue T-Shirt.
But really. I do extend deep gratitude to everyone who helped out on any level. It's a pretty big deal and means so much to me. Thank you.