If you missed the first part of our St. Baldricks adventure, check it out here.
Okay, let’s get right to it:
When we left off, the team was heading to Kitty Hoynes to take part in the St. Baldricks event there. This is the view of Kitty Hoynes (on the corner) from the parking garage across the road:
Looks like a quiet, Sunday afternoon at the bar, right? Take a look at what it was like INSIDE Kitty Hoynes:
Wall-to-wall people, holy moly. You couldn’t walk one step without running into someone. It was CRAZY. The boys signed in and then we slowly made our way towards the stage (see where the people are shaving hair towards the middle of the picture?) and hung out there until it was our turn.
While waiting, we took advantage of capturing a before shot of our team:
There’s a whole lot of craziness in that picture
All along the walls of Kitty Hoynes were pictures of children that were being honored for their fight against cancer:
So beautiful, aren’t they? Later in the afternoon, I ended up meeting the mother of one of the kids in the pictures at a nearby bar. Imagine my surprise when I was uploading this pictures the next day and I saw that out of all of the kids’ pictures on the walls, I captured the wall that happened to have her child’s picture on it.
While waiting in the crowd, I ended up standing next to a woman with dark hair in pigtails. We started talking and it turned out that she was getting her head shaved for the cause. Immediately, I was completely in awe of her because any woman who is willing to shave her head in support of a great cause has my utmost respect. In the society we live in today, unfortunately, women are still valued by their beauty and a woman who shaves her head is automatically opening herself up to potential judgement and ridicule. And yet, these women (and even some little girls) did it because sometimes, there are things that are just more important in life than someone giggling behind their hands because you look different. This is something that I want to teach Zoey for sure.
Anyway, I happened to see this woman after she got shaved and I asked if I could get my picture taken with her:
When I posted the picture on Facebook, on of my friends mentioned that she actually knows this girl. Talk about a small world.
I told this girl how awesome she is because of what she did. Want to see some more awesome people?
I don’t know this lady’s name. Everything was so chaotic at the time that this picture was taken. But what I DO know about her is that in her eyes are wisdom and experience–she lost her child to cancer. Any mother who loses their child and goes on to honor that child’s memory in this way has my utmost respect. I wish I could have learned more of her story. I hope wherever she is, she understands that as 1. a woman and 2. a mother, she made a huge impact on us other moms in the crowd that day.
This lady was gorgeous even before she had her head shaved–tall and thin with beautiful dark, wavy hair. I watched as her hair was shaved off and how her beauty never even faltered. It was only until later when I was uploading this picture that I realized she is, um, holding her own hair.
So, after waiting a really long time and cheering for other teams, it was finally our turn on the stage.
One more before picture:
The boys were interviewed by the MC while the shavers got set up:
Cory saying a little something as team captain
Pete talking about his Aunt Carol (I love Greg’s deep thoughts look in the middle of the picture)
Greg talking about how the team is to honor his mom
And then the shaving began:
Naturally, Greg saluted the team with his beer when his head was shaved:
I would be remiss if I didn’t show the picture I took of the beautiful girl who shaved Greg’s head:
In return, she took this picture of Greg and I:
I LOVE this pic of Greg and I
After the shaving was done, we all headed outside to let another team have their turn. We took a lot of after photos:
Pete, Mike, Greg, Jason, Cory and Keith
Greg and his cousins/brothers, Pete and Cory
Jason and Greg
Pete with his girlfriend, Candy, and their adorable daughter, Gabby
Pete and Gabby
After pictures, we headed to another bar called Limerick for a post-shave celebration.
Cory and his wife, Candice
I was in the bathroom of the bar, of all places, when I met this amazing woman:
She and I struck up a conversation and it turns out that she had her head shaved for St. Baldricks (obviously) in memory of her son, Craig, who had passed away when he was nineteen. My heart really softened for this lady. We talked for the longest time about her son and Greg’s mom and I know I told her five million times how amazing she is.
Here’s the thing: As I mentioned before, any woman who gets her head shaved for a great cause, such as St. Baldricks, has my utmost respect. But a mother who does it in memory of the child she lost holds a special place in my heart because I can’t help but think what if I were her? Would I be strong enough to keep going, to celebrate my child in this way? I hope so. If Zoey ever got sick (GodforbidGodforbidGodforbid) I hope I would be just like this woman–supporting and honoring my baby no matter what. I want to be that kind of person, that kind of parent–my aha moment.
I remember last year at St. Baldricks, I heard the MC interview a mother and daughter, who were on the stage getting their heads shaved in honor of a second daughter, who, at that moment, was across the city in the hospital with cancer. They were planning on going back to her hospital room after getting shaved to show that they support her one hundred percent. I hope, if put in that position (GodforbidGodforbidGodforbid) that I would do the same thing.
Like I said earlier sometimes there are things that are more important in life than someone giggling behind their hands because you look different.
So back to the lady in the picture above. Her name is Ellen and I celebrate her and her son, Craig. And I hope wherever she is, she knows what she did was absolutely awesome–and I bet her son is smiling down on her.
After hanging out at Limerick for a while, Greg and I headed back to his sister’s house to pick up Zoey and head home. Zoey, it turns out, had a fantastic time with Aunt Kim and Lisa–and even had the added bonus of having a MacDonalds Happy Meal for lunch, which is her ABSOLUTEFAVORITEOMG. We went home and I snuggled with Zoey for a while because, if nothing else, each year, the St. Baldricks event reminds me to enjoy every hug and every giggle because they mean the world to a parent–another aha moment.
And now, the part I promised all of you if you donated:
Businesses That Rock (the donor that helped sponsor our team):
MAB Roofing and Siding
People That Rock (the donors that helped sponsor Greg):
The Conolly family
Preble Road Crew
N. and D. Wynn
And a VERY, VERY, VERY huge shout-out and thank you to Mr. A. Wishneusky, who just happened to run into team member Mike in a bar, heard the story of the team and donated $500 under Greg’s St. Baldricks profile. Mike and Greg had never met him before. He was a complete stranger to them. Seriously. This guy that Mike just happened to strike up a conversation with in a bar DONATED $500 DOLLARS TO COMPLETE STRANGERS. That, my friends, is the epitome of an amazing person. We thank you so much, A. Wishneusky, and I hope you know that your kindness meant the whole world to our team, especially Greg.
So, Team Carol Freeland did it again! And we’re all planning on being there next year, rocking it out in Carol’s memory. I know she’d be so proud.