I so wanted to come to this place after a weekend of awareness and activism with dozens of photos of the events that unfolded and new friends we’d made. I wanted to feel I’d made a difference…raised my voice. I wanted to make Kate proud – so many of these organizations there are just overwhelmingly awesome with what they accomplish and how they raise awareness.
But. I didn’t.
I failed at CureFest this year.
It was an awesome experience, but I (literally) would not have been able to do it without my family & friends. It was HARD for me this year…much harder than I could’ve imagined. Last year was our first time and I had a speech prepared; I think that’s ALL I prepared for and the rest was a blur. Time may have passed, but the emotions that come with a weekend like this are still and always ever-present. The record-breaking number of submissions for the Tribute Wall, where we honor our fighters and our angels. The overwhelming attendance of the bereaved families breakfast but knowing how many families weren’t even there. The kids still fighting…those who are in treatment and those finishing treatment…and feeling like collectively, we are begging the public to care and feeling like we fall on deaf ears…and knowing not one single bit of it changes Kate’s outcome. Our lives were shattered. Our lives will still be shattered. Forever.
Truth is, I want to carry my baby. Not a sign.
I didn’t take but one photo. I didn’t walk around to say hello to the other foundations or seek out the families and kids I’d so badly wanted to meet. I stayed put. I hid in our tent, almost turning my back at times because I just couldn’t hand it. I want people to know Kate. But I want them to know her in real life. I want people to understand who she IS. Not who she was because I don’t want there to be a past tense.
I want my baby. Not a booth.
I may have failed at CureFest this year, but the family & volunteers who woke early, lugged our stuff, sweat themselves silly in our tent all day in the humid DC weather most certainly did not. They chatted with families, passed out Random Acts of Kateness and shared our story with love. There were bubbles, which Kate would have loved, and dinosaurs, which Kate would have REALLY loved. We were overwhelmed by the love of others who came to tell us how Kate touched their lives.
So then, why did I fail at CureFest this year?
Because I want Kate. Not her Cause.