My friend asked me to run the Celebrate Life Half Marathon this past fall. Soon after, I had found out my Aunt Grace was diagnosed with lung cancer. When I realized the race was a fundraiser for people battling cancer, my first thought was to run in honor of my Aunt Grace. Sadly, she passed away December 10th at the age of 71, 4 weeks after being diagnosed. I am now running this race in her memory.
She was nicknamed "Amazing Grace" by her co-workers at Lockheed Martin, where she worked for about 25 years as a computer engineer. She retired in 2013. This nickname also appropriately suited her in her personal life. She raised a son, Donald, as a single mother, all while working and putting herself through school. I will always remember the close relationship she had with my Dad, my Uncle Rich and Aunt Michele. They truly cared about each other and have had such a special bond - It was always a party when they got together.
She was also a very talented artist. She painted many beautiful items, made all the grandchildren, grand-nieces and grand-nephews Christmas ornaments, knitted and crocheted beautiful quilts, scarves and sweaters. There was not a craft that she could not master.
I will also remember the way she lit up when she talked about her grandchildren, Haileigh and Landon. Whether it was about playing ball with Landon or watching Haileigh sing or play an instrument, she made the drive to Chicago for every event. When she was not visiting them, her son Donald, spoke to her daily and sent her pictures. She loved showing them to all of our east coast relatives. As far as her many nieces and nephew, she was always around for a holiday or party. She went to many birthday parties, recitals, weddings, church celebrations, and never missed an opportunity to tell everyone she loved them.
Thank you for your support as we raise money to help others in their fight against cancer in hopes they will conquer the disease. At the same time celebrating the lives of those who are survivors and remembering those who have lost the battle.