The best thing I could think of to honor Jane was to do something to raise awareness about Pancreatic Cancer in a lighthearted, fun way. Jane, from everything I know and have heard about her, loved to bring out the fun in every situation. So, I thought to myself, what is fun? Balloons.
Balloons are fun, most people love balloons. But how can balloons raise awareness? Then it hit me.
I printed up short little cards (with purple ink of course) and cut them out.
I ordered 6 purple balloons from a local store. When I picked them up, I attached a card to each balloon.
The idea is that I would release the balloons, people would find them, they would become more aware, hopefully help spread the awareness, and leave me a note on this blog letting me know they did so.
Now, where to release them? I wanted to do them in different places, and not just random places either. I decided to go ahead and release one right at my starting place, where I had picked the balloons up, as this was the start of my mission. Every mission must have a beginning.
The next place I went to was the cemetery where Jane is buried. This was tough. It rained as I drove over. This place has double meaning, as my father in law is buried there too. He had Esophageal Cancer. I released a balloon and said a prayer for them both.
The next place I went was the Kittanning Elks. This was the first place I met Jane, back at the Hot Dog Benefit for the Relay for Life. I knew right away she was a special lady.
Next, I released a balloon at Jane's church. Her faith was such an important part of her life, and she never ever gave up on God. We all could learn a lesson from her in this way.
Unfortunately, after this the batteries ran out in my camera. The next balloon I released was at the house Jane lived in. E lives in this house now. E also raises Jane's doggie Rosie, who is good friends with my doggie. Lots of love fills that house, a tradition Jane started and E continues.
The final balloon I released at my house. This is because I want to strive to live out the lessons that Jane taught me, about living life to the fullest, loving God, cherishing my friends and family, and never giving up.
I love you Jane, and I love you E.
So if you saw purple balloons floating over Kittanning today, now you know why. Jane, I hope you saw them as you looked down from above.
For more information about Pancreatic Cancer, and what you can do to help raise awareness, please visit http://www.pancan.org/ or http://www.knowitfightitendit.org/