Journal Entry, Day One
Observations From The #Race4Prevention Tour
Day 1, July 27, 2017
BREAST CANCER TRANSENDS RACE, GENDER, CREED AND POLITICS
Today, I drove drove from Clemmons, NC, to Memphis, TN, passing through and stopping in Asheville, Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson and then Memphis.
At each stop, whether for gas, food, or hotel, the car was mobbed.
To all ages, from itty-bitty to some even older than yours truly, the car was the star.
Until, that is, I handed them a Foundation brochure (#Race4prevention) and a pen (#Pens4Prevention) Almost instantly, they began to read about Becky, who she was, why I am doing this and the mission of The Becky Baker Foundation.
And, you know what? Almost everyone, and I mean close to 100 people overall, had been touched by the tragedy of breast cancer. Some lost loved ones, some were survivors, others knew someone who had been taken by the evil known as breast cancer.
I learned something today that was very profound. Let me explain by giving you an example:
I was at the counter at a restaurant, looking at a menu to order. The waitress was cordial and professional, but a but cold and would not make eye contact.
So, I immedately went out to the car and grabbed a handful of pens and brochures. I sat back down at the counter and when she came near, said, ‘I have some pens for you!’
Wow! She instantly came flying over to me with a big smile, looked me right in the eyes and said, “Thank You!” I told her these were the best writing pens ever and they were to honor my wife, who recently passed away from breast cancer.
The change was instant. I was no longer white and she was no longer black. It didn’t matter to her that I may be an independent while she was a democrat. It didn’t matter that I was old and she was young.
We were instantly family. It was as if we had known each other all our lives. We hugged, and we were new best friends. Her mother had passed away from breast cancer four years ago, and she had not been able to move forward. We shared our hearts, our tears and our fears of moving forward without the ones dearest to our souls.
And you know what? The whole day was just like that. Whether talking to someone getting gas next to me, or buying coffee at the station counter. Whenever I gave anyone a brochure and a pen, we were almost instant family. I made many new, longtime friends today and as I pondered today’s wonders, I was struck with how just one event in a person’s life (breast cancer) can unite an entire human race. Today proved to me that we can all get along. Republican, democrat, independent, man, woman, black or white. None of that matters if you have been touched by breast cancer. If only our nation’s politicians could learn this lesson. (sad face)
More Observations, Some Worthwhile, Some Maybe Not
• My little Nissan gets 24.5 miles to the gallon. That is, of course, because I am forced to drive the right-hand lane at the speed limit (in second gear) so everyone can pass me and read the car.
• I had my first $100 steak at Binions Steakhouse (compliments of the house) and it was very good. When my headwaiter asked me if I enjoyed my steak and was finished, I said, ‘Yes!’ He then asked me if he could place the large piece of steak I had left on my plate in a to go package and I said, ‘No, that piece is for my wife, Becky.’ He asked if she would be joining me, and I said no, but that I hoped to be joining her soon. He looked at me kind of confused, and vacated the area quickly.
Well, that’s it for Day One. Day Two coming Friday night.