I’m sure only I see the irony here, but before I sat down to blog, I had writer’s block. Then I opened up my (snail) mail and realized what day it is: Today makes it five months to the day since my mom passed away from breast cancer.
In the mail I received an invitation to Hatwalk 2004, a gala benefit presented by the Asian American Cancer Support Network (AACSN). What a great fundraiser! Hatwalk (according to AACSN) “celebrates the value and importance of hats in bringing comfort to cancer patients.” The second annual Hatwalk will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, CA on Saturday, November 6. Models will “hatwalk” down a runway in hats designed by AACSN volunteers; there will not only be a three-course dinner, but a silent auction and taiko performance. (For more information, key up their website or email: hatwalk2004 [at] aacsn.org)
According to the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training, “Cancer is the #1 cause of death for Asian and Pacific Islander females.” I never bothered to think of cancer in terms of demographics (race or gender). It was (and still is) personal to me because my mom fought cancer for over five years and it was hard to not only watch, but live through with her…and now without her.
Since the day my mom was first diagnosed with cancer, I stupidly continued to smoke my cigarettes. (I started smoking when I found out she was sick; of course I hid the fact that I smoked. My excuse to justify the habit was that it was a “stress reliever.”) Today I vow to quit smoking. I never really stuck to that resolution before--I also never really put too much effort in trying to quit. To commemorate this promise to myself, I am writing a donation check (in an amount bigger than I normally would) to AACSN. I’ll consider it a fraction of the utang na puso (“debt of the heart” in Tagalog) long overdue to Mama.
You have permission to chastise me if you see me light up.