I sent in two entries to a story contest about cancer, and both were shortlisted to be winners. Unfortunately, the contest rules stated that one person can only win one prize. Phooey. Well actually, not phooey, because I knew this from the beginning and I didn't join the contest for the prizes anyway.
I think the organisers got it right in deciding not to announce the winners in reverse sequence as if it were the Oscars. I like the way winners of the big prizes were announced side by side with winners of the not-so-big prizes. Unfortunately, this meant I had to do the gracious beauty pageant runner-up thing when I turned out not to be the grand prize winner. You know, reflex hug, air kiss on both sides, fan frantically at eye area to stop mascara from running... Nyah uh! Not on your life! It was all I could do to keep from smacking the winner on the back because she was so flippin' inspiring! However, I do know my own strength and didn't want to send her spinning across the room like the Tasmanian Devil so I gave her a genteel smile and light pat on the back.
Take a couple o' minutes to read the prizewinning entries here, you won't regret it.
And if you want to read mine special... sniff... sniff... aww you're so sweet! You really do? I mean, really really? All right, here you go... read the full versions on the organiser's website, ya hear?
Excerpt from "My Mother's Victory" (the one that officially won)
"I believe [my mother] won the battle against cancer. She died surrounded by people who loved her. Cancer may have destroyed her body, and numerous medical procedures weakened it, but the experience of those two years only strengthened her spirit. She made her peace with God weeks before she died, while her mind was still lucid and unaffected by pain-relieving drugs. She left an immeasurable legacy, the memory of her colourful and vibrant personality, which will remain with her family and friends as long as we live. Cancer may have shortened her life, but it cannot diminish its influence over those of others who knew her and who hear her story. That was and is my mother’s victory."
Excerpt from "Seven Ways to Help Someone You Love Deal with Cancer" (the other one)
"Ever hear the story about the dinner party which went on all night with an uninvited pink elephant seated in the room the whole time? The large pachyderm ate, drank, squirted water and snot out its trunk at guests and left large “packages” around the room, but everyone was too polite to state the facts. That this intruder was making a significant mess of things, that it would take some effort to get rid of it, and that they would be glad to help the host to get rid of it in any way possible.
"Cancer can be a pink elephant of sorts – until the host (patient) decides to come clean and talk about it. Don’t deny your loved one his or her need to share the questions, doubts, fears and hopes that will arise after the diagnosis. The rare times that my mother spoke of her disease to me, I could tell she was touched that I never tried to change the subject but just listened. Never underestimate the value of a sympathetic, listening ear."
Click the link above to get to the full stories!