I have been uncharacteristically quiet about this so far, but not because of a lack of interest. Quite the opposite actually. As we roll toward the first anniversary of Jesika’s death (April 25th), I think of her as much as ever. Sometimes, I have to admit, it’s still too painful to talk about, even from the safe comfort of my keyboard. I miss her easy laugh, her teasing, her commentary on pop culture. I would love to hear her reaction to some of the events of my life that have taken place in the last twelvemonth, though it is easy enough to conjure some of those responses (“Girl! What the hell are you doing walking around in Englewood? $10 an hours isn’t even enough to pay the doctor to remove the caps from your little white ass! Are you tired of living?”).
I loved my Grandmother too, the formidable June Rose Crowley. I was there at her home in rural Wisconsin in June 0f 1991 as she died after a long battle with ovarian cancer, the same disease that struck down Jesika in a mere 17 days. As a 12 year-old girl watching a woman who had raised six children alone on a waitressing salary, a person who had the strength to endure two divorces during a period in American history when even one ws a scandal, a lady who had the courage to sign her alcoholic first husband to a lifetime of VA care when it was clear that his demons would be the end of him without constant monitoring – to watch this tiny dynamo shrink and disappear was one of the most scarring experiences of my girlhood.
So in honor of these two inspirational figures, Jen and I, with a team of nine friends and family members, are walking. We are walking three miles to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Because I never want to see another strong woman lowered into the ground due to this awful disease. But we still need your help. We are one person short of the squad of ten we need to fill out Team June/Jesika. For $20 bucks, you can take a relaxing spring stroll with a team of wonderful people, and earn some good karma points too.
If you can’t join us in person, we’d be honored if you’d consider a donation. I know these are tough economic times and disposable cash is a vanishing resource, but any amount is appreciated.
Jen and I are not done talking about this. We still have two months until May 1, and a lot to do before then. I heard a rumor that Jen and KK are planning a cupcake sale. Stay tuned!