Recently, Facebook upgraded/downgraded their format (up or down depending on how you feel), and now you have the option of displaying a Timeline. In classic form, events are marked in a running timeline from birth until the present. Facebook has tried to automatically take status updates and photos that were uploaded/posted to the timeline, but of course, there are some photos that may have been from events much earlier in life that need to have their dates updated.
While waiting for some emails from work, I decided to hop onto Facebook and start going through my albums, updating photos with places, dates and defining "life events." In so doing, I ran across photos from the first LIVESTRONG Challenge I participated in - the 2010 Philadelphia LIVESTRONG Bike Ride. Some of those photos were tagged with the name, "Ryan Weiss," my friend whom I was supposed to meet at the Challenge, but he'd just left the hospital and was unable to attend. Sadly, Ryan passed not long after thanks to a tumor that came back with a vengeance. It was the first time that I'd seen Lance in person, it was my first time riding in a peloton of that size, and my first taste of what the LIVESTRONG organization was capable of doing.
As I click through photo after photo in my Facebook album, I'm struck by the final photo, with the caption, "I gots me a secret LIVESTRONG admirer."
As I've blogged about in the past, the yellow roses are handed out to cancer survivors as they cross the finish line. Survivors go through a designated chute so that they can receive this honor and an extra special welcome. In August of 2010, I did not go through the Survivors Only chute, as I was riding in honor of my friend, Ryan Weiss, and I had not had cancer. So I thought.
But, as you can see in the photo above, when I returned to my bike after, what had been a most wet afternoon, someone had very purposefully woven a yellow Survivor rose in my front wheel. And, I highly doubt that they could have gotten my bike mixed up with someone elses. My bike has bright purple tires and brake/shifter cables, deep purple water bottle cages, and "I Ride For" stickers for Ryan and my grandmother up and down the frame.
At the time, if course, I was tickled by the idea that someone wanted to give me a rose. Was it from an admirer? A LIVESTRONG friend who was a Survivor but hadn't had the chance to say goodbye? Someone who thought my bike was cool?
But, now, part of me wonders, "What could this person have known or sensed that I didn't? Do Survivors somehow have a magical 'cancer detector,' and were somehow warning me of what was to come one year later?"
There has been no question that, in many ways, the universe was sending me many messages over the past year, and, looking at this photo, perhaps this was the first visual 'sign' that I was destined to earn a rose.
Without question, I would not have gotten that fateful mammogram last June had it not been for LIVESTRONG.
For that, I ask that you consider making a donation to LIVESTRONG.
To do so, simply go to http://laf.convio.net/goto/RicaRocksAustin2012 and click on "Donate to Rica!" on the left. If you need to mail in your donation, just click on "Read More" towards the bottom of the screen and then you'll see a link for a printable form.
I hope to bring in 100 donations for LIVESTRONG by end of day Sunday, 12/25/2011 in my effort to raise $25,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Donations of any size are very welcome.
Thank you and happy holidays!