It’s a night of tears, and smiles and memories.  Every person there, loved one, friend, doctor, nurse,  remembers in their own way.  We sit together, each one of us, lost in our own thoughts of happier times, difficult times, healthier times and cancer times.  We are united because we’ve all lost a part of our lives to cancer.  It is the annual “Night of Remembrance” held up at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins this week. 

Many cancer centers around the country hold similar events.  I have not missed one since losing Leroy, because I think it’s important to remember him in that place.  It was a place where he found new, important friendships.  He found great doctors there too.  He created his “My Cancer” blog from his experiences there and he helped a lot of fellow cancer patients with his personal recollections of living with cancer.  In many ways, this community has its roots from his time at Kimmel.

Not everyone feels the same way.  It’s too much about remembering the pain and suffering and loss.  Cancer leaves those marks on all of us.  So why walk through the doors that will bring back all of that?

Leroy loved his adventures to far away lands and was challenged in each one of those places.  His cancer revealed a different challenge and far more courage than any of the 15 wars he covered.  So I go to salute him and that time in his life.

It’s a ‘Night of Remembrance” he earned the hard way.

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