Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ginger Bear

My family has been closely affected by ovarian cancer. Not so much breast cancer. We have had our fair share of lumps but not much more than multiple annoying tests, biopsies, or other. I don't want to sound mean. But I do feel we are all aware of this problem. We have all been pinked. We have been pink washed with the raising of awareness. But we, as a nation, have been splendidly unaware of ovarian cancer. My family, not so much. Until recently I was unaware that there were races or fundraisers or whatever for this cause. A good friend of mine posted on facebook that she would be participating in 'Jodie's Race' for ovarian cancer awareness. I was excited, I need a reason to get into shape and making running this 5k a goal, I will have a shot of getting in shape. But more importantly, I have a cause that is very meaningful to me.
I don't have many memories of Aunt Ginger. I vaguely remember seeing her at my other Aunt's house. Being so young and unaware of the pain she was suffering through. Not understanding why my mom was upset. I do remember her funeral. I am certain I didn't understand what was really going on there. I remember thinking how cool it was to ride in a limo.
In reading old postings on my mom's blog, in regards to Aunt Ginger, there was one statement that stood out to me. This may not be verbatim, but it has been in my thoughts for a few days and seems so fitting in the strangest ways. She said, the moment that Ginger passed, things that Ginger kept as priceless keepsakes became worthless and things that she considered minuscule or worthless became priceless possessions for others.
One thing I do remember and will always, is being taken to her room and told I can pick out one thing to keep. I chose a small teddy bear. Not a very comfy or fluffy bear. Just a plain ordinary teal colored bear. I carried it with me almost everywhere for a while. One of the places I carried it was a friends house, who asked me what I had. When I told the short story of picking out my bear, the response that came stuck with my little bear forever. That little boy said to his mom, "Look, she has a Ginger Bear."
I have cleaned out my childhood room, I have packed up memories and have mostly forgotten about them. I have donated many things that I had once called special and grew out of. But I have never allowed my Ginger Bear to be in a box. Ginger, until today, has been in the nursery on a shelf.
In looking at the website about the race I noticed the 'color' for the cause is teal. I had bought new running shoes this weekend, in looking through the shelf for the purple ones, I found my size, the only pair left in my size. I tried them on and when I opened the box I was bummed to see that they weren't purple, they were grey with teal stripes. But now I see that is okay. Because with my teal bear, my teal shoes and my teal cause, I will run this race for Ginger.


  1. Your posts about the run has drawn my thoughts back to those days, as well. Of course, your memories of that time are very different from mine, but I loved reading about them. Do you recall, or did you know that Ginger was a runner? She medaled many times because she was one of the few in her age bracket. She really got a kick out of that!

  2. Great post. Like Jan, this gave me a trip down memory lane! I still have one of her t-shirts from a run in Wichita...the "Turkey Trot!"

  3. OK. You made me all teary here at work. Like the others, a trip through the memories for me, too. Interesting to hear you reflect on your perspective of the chain of events, too. I will support you in every way I can for the race.

  4. I have not welld-up when thinking of Ginger for years. I enjoyed your story.

  5. So sweet this is! I really like your choice. Thanks for share your thoughts.
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