Tomorrow morning is the Hope & Heroe's Walk for pediatric cancer. Although always a cause near and dear to my heart, this year is obviously incredibly different. As captain of Team Jonathan the Fearless, I will lead close to 40 people in light blue t-shirts on a walk in Jonathan's memory. I was pretty excited when I started organizing this walk. It felt like such an amazing way to honor Jonathan and the struggle he faced. In addition, the foundation raises money for the clinic where Jon was treated, as well as many patients and families I have grown to know and love over the years. It was never really about the money for me, but the generous donations we have received could truly change lives for children with cancer. For me, it was more about the "team". The people closest to Jon -- the ones who loved him most -- joining together to remember him. Jon was so worried he would be forgotten. If he is looking down on us tomorrow, he will surely see how silly that notion is.
The truth is, I carry Jon with me everywhere I go. I don't need a t-shirt with his name on it or a big organized walk. Every step I take, every action, every movement toward a future for myself, I do with Jon in mind. I know that the family and friends closest to Jon understand what I mean and live their lives in a similar fashion.
As tomorrow morning draws closer, I find myself feeling angry and sad. I wish things were different. I mean, I wish that every second of every day. I wish Jon and I could walk together. I wish we could walk in remembrance of the struggle he faced, the battle he had won. He deserves to be here. He should be here. I can't seem to let go of the anger I feel for the fact that he's not. I constantly feel the world moving forward, myself included. It doesn't stop moving. It's a strange thing, actually. But most moments echo with the thought that Jon should be here for this. For everything. Accepting over and over again that he won't be, is the hardest part for me.
I appreciate the support that surrounds me. The love that surrounds Jonathan and his memory. I've said it before, but Jon brought some of the best people I've ever come across into my life & I feel lucky in that aspect. I know there will be tons of people I can count on tomorrow -- to lean on, to hug, to laugh with. We're all hurt. We're all angry. We're all sad. But we're all better people for having known Jon.
If we can keep moving forward... if we can carry that piece of ourselves that Jon brought out in us, the part he made better... then he will truly never be forgotten. <3