Archived Story

Celebrate survivors with Relay for Life tonight at Sportplex

Published 12:56pm Friday, May 10, 2013

My social schedule has been on the proverbial back burner as John and I attempt to unpack boxes in our new home. I am sorry to say I missed many of the fun things happening last weekend. Picture me covered in paint from head to toe – more paint on my person than the wall – as I simultaneously wave the current issue of House Beautiful and Pinterest pins at John. The man is a saint.

I do think that, should TPI decide they no longer need my services, I can foray into the professional painter field. I can paint a mean ceiling, have mastered trim work and know all the songs currently on the radio. I can go without hearing the Thrift Shop song again. John and I did, however, regain our appreciation for Brittney Spears over the past few days. Toxic will also be a legit jam.

Our first night in the new place went smoothly. I was elated to be back in my real bed. A person takes that for granted. I did not move once.

As the first early morning light streamed in, we were awakened by a horrific honking. It was not a car horn, but the song of one of our friendly neighborhood geese. We both sat straight up in bed because it sounded like Mr. Goose was in the room with us. Who needs roosters down on Point Windy?

Tonight is Relay. Be there or be square. The Survivor Banquet is at 5 p.m. and the Opening Ceremony begins promptly at 6:30 a.m. Cheri Edwards kicks off at 7:10 p.m. and then the BRHS Cheerleaders will perform.

The Rexton Lee Band takes the stage at 7:35 p.m. and the Luminaria Ceremony is at 8:45 p.m. Speakers will follow, Kierra Diamond will perform with the choir, and then National Honor Society will release balloons.

Fireworks begin at 9:20 p.m.! This is going to be major fireworks, folks!

I may have said this before, but I will say it again. So often in this life, we do not pick up causes until they knock on our door. We are human and we are selfish in this way. Was I a big Relay or Susan G. Komen person before my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009? No, but I am now. And because of my experience, I am more sympathetic towards all causes. I donate to my friends who are running heart disease 5ks and stumping for diabetes fundraisers. I do this because I do not know what I will be faced with next.

Believe me, there is always a ‘next.’ I say this not negatively, but realistically. You get what you give. If anything, I believe in karma and toss my pennies and dollars where and when I can.

I encourage everyone to come to Relay tomorrow night. Enjoy the live music, jump jumps, Corn Hole toss, Chick-fil-A and deep fried Oreos.

That’s the good stuff in life and that’s what Relay is about. We remember who we have lost, awknowledge who is fighting, but we have to celebrate who is HERE.

Who is still here.

My good friend Jessica Sanford shared something she read that really resonated with me. We were sitting on the beach – one of those really perfect sunny days where you know it really does not get any better than this – and she talked about living your ‘dash.’ The dash that will be on your headstone one day. For me, it reads Lacey Shaffer Howell, September 1, 1985-. I don’t know what other date will be listed to commemorate my demise, so for now, I’m just living my dash. Here’s to Relay and here’s to living your dash, baby. We only go around once and we have to make it count.

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.