I went to a party at the West Haven, CT., Italian-American Club last night to raise money to find a cure for multiple myeloma.
The man who organized the bash _ and I mean it, the place was hopping _ has been battling the bone marrow disease for a few years, but you’d never know it. Uncle Wayne looks great and clutched a beer bottle as he bear-hugged my husband and me.
As John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” cranked in the background, I surveyed the crowd. One woman was in a wheelchair, missing half her left leg, but partying. A lot of others also were fighting cancer, but for this night, they were enjoying being alive.
Wayne told me he wakes up each day and looks at his mother’s gold cross, thanking God for the gift of another day. When I handed him a St. Jude medal, he thanked me and said he would praise St. Jude every morning too. Wayne said he doesn’t worry about his disease, leaving that to his wife and other relatives. He confessed he only wants to wake up every day, go to work and maybe play a round of golf.
“One day at a time,” he said.
Simple pleasures. And so it was pink houses for Wayne and others waging their battles in the cramped hall. Soon enough, they will face more treatments, but I hope they remember that night of joy and hope. I didn’t realize this until tonight, but the flip side of “Pink Houses” is “Serious Business.”