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Breastfeeding in Public! So, what?

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk 2012

This was the second time I participated in the American Cancer Society annual breast cancer walk. I was so humbled by my experience in last year’s walk that I decided to  make a commitment to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk each year.

I am unsure how much money I raised last year, but it probably was under $50. I knew I could do better than that, so this year I set a goal of $100. During the last week of fundraising, I met and surpassed that goal. The fact that so many people were willing to help me attain a goal was also very humbling. I’m glad that I was able to contribute to the cause.

While many people would assume that I participate because I know someone or was directly affected by breast cancer. I don’t know anyone personally who has lost the fight, or has become a survivor. This is why I participate. When I read or hear about the stories of women who have overcome, and those who haven’t, I am moved. I’m not just moved because it’s sad, but because at any time my mom, my sister, my aunt or could discover a lump in one of our breasts. Breast Cancer does not discriminate. As a woman, I feel compelled to do what I can to help someone else’s mom, someone else’s sister, someone else’s aunt, or someone else.  This disease affects so many women (and men) every year. I’ve been blessed to have not had it affect me or my loved ones, and I’d like to keep it that way.

This year’s walk was no different from the last. I was again humbled by the experience. I saw women, men and children all walking for a common purpose. Thousands of people, survivors and families of lost loved ones, all walking against breast cancer. It was a beautiful sight to see that many people from all backgrounds, economic classes, educational levels, and ages gather for such an important cause. We all walked 3 miles together and finished 3 miles together.

Life isn’t just about what we can do for ourselves; it’s also about what we can do for others. Find a cause that speaks to you, and look for ways to contribute. It will make life that much more purposeful.

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Daddy’s Girl [Father’s Day]

I am truly blessed to have grown up in a two-parent household. I can’t imagine who I would have become had I not had both of my parents.

Unfortunately, in my circle of friends and the community I grew up in, it seems that two-parent households is a rarity. I’ve observed what I believe to be the effects of not having a father; again, I say I am grateful.

My father has always been a valuable part of my life. I don’t think he can fully grasp how important his role in my life has been or how much I admire him.  He is the epitome of a good father. Now, I’d be a liar if I said that my relationship with my Dad has always been peachy. As a teen, I went through a “I can’t stand him” phase. Anything my Dad said or did annoyed me tremendously. I always had a bad attitude when it regarded him. I could not tell you why I was so nasty towards my Dad, but I do know he didn’t deserve it. I know that phase of my life had to be bothersome to the man I was always running behind. Eventually, I grew up.

As much as I resemble and model after my Mom, I am very much a product of my father. Basketball and watching movies are two hobbies of mine that I can attribute to him. He’s also instilled in me the value of hard work and doing things wholly. My sense of humor is a quality I inherited from him too. The list goes on.

As my eyes get watery while looking over pictures of he and I, I realize how happy I am to have my Dad. We’ve shared a lot of tears and laughs. We’ve had our ups and downs, but my Dad has a vital role in my life and I don’t know where I’d be without him.

I wrote this post because I wanted to share with everyone that good fathers do exist. Logging into Facebook, I am constantly reminded that there are a ton of deadbeat dads and the chatter only seems to heighten when Father’s Day nears. While, I am fortunate to have my father in my life and know this is not the case for everyone else, I just don’t understand why there has to be continual bashing of fathers as we near Father’s Day. I’ve noticed that those same sentiments are not shared when Mother’s Day approaches. Is it because the percentage of children raised by their fathers is so small that their voices aren’t heard? I don’t know. If you don’t have a father who is worth celebrating, divert that attention to someone who has assumed that position and deserves to be celebrated. I know that a lot of people recognize their Moms on Father’s Day, which is understandable. The day was made official to celebrate the well-deserving fathers (or the person(s) who assumed that role) not the shortcomings of the fathers who are unworthy of recognition. Allow this holiday to be a positive one, focusing on the men (and women) who have provided for their children and have committed to being the best father they can be.

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