I hope your holiday was a good one. I enjoyed my Labor Day weekend. Spending it with my eldest daughter has always been a tradition. My youngest daughter always spends the holiday camping with her dad, cousins and uncles, but my eldest daughter and I have always made it our special weekend. We cook food only we like and watch musicals and artsy movies; sometimes we go to see a show in Chicago.

This year, though, my eldest had left for college….but she still wanted us to still keep the tradition. I traveled to the city she now lives in and we rented a motel room and I brought a toaster oven and electric skillet so we could cook our traditional meal in the hotel. We watched Sound of Music and explored her new city a bit. We had a great time and she said she wants it to be our tradition until she’s 50and I’m 80, no matter what our life circumstances are.

But on Monday I had to leave her again. And I cried again. It’s been harder for me than for her….she loves living on campus and the independence. She loves being the master of her own fate. She loves the college environment and the classes and the people she’s met there. She’s hoping her college time goes slowly so it will last a long time. Next year my second one leaves, so I’ll be doing this again soon. She and I are close too, so it will be hard…again.

It’s been a tough transition for me but I know it would have been wrong for me to talk her into staying home when she was ready to spread her wings. I know I could have guilted her into staying at home and going to college locally, but it would have been wrong of me to do that. I’m glad I didn’t. My daughter’s college experience, though, has been a learning experience for me. She loves the college community.

Community. We all like to be part of a community. For her it’s a community of people her age who all want to experience independence and to learn. I love the supportive community of people fighting a cancer diagnosis. My husband loves the community of people he golfs with and works with.

I am now counting down the days…Stand Up to Cancer is this Friday. Stand Up to Cancer is all about community. Stand Up To Cancer is the chance for everyone to be part of a community that makes a difference. It is our chance to be part of ending a disease that kills half a million Americans every year. It is a chance for us to be part of a huge collaboration, for all of us to be part of a community, for our the country to come together for a common cause.

I will see how much I can afford to donate. I have a number in mind that is meaningful to me in a symbolic sense, but I hope everyone donates…even if it’s a single dollar. If everyone donated $10, cancer research funding would double from what it is today. Baseball has donated $10 million. They can make up for some of us who don’t have as much to give…who can only donate a dollar. But it all matters, it all brings us together, it all makes us part of a national community, a grass roots effort. We can be part of ending a disease that effects one in every 2-3 of us in our lifetime.

It all counts, no matter how small the donation. This is everyone’s big chance to make a difference, a big difference, a real difference. Maybe future generations will remember our generation as the one that brought an end to cancer.

I don’t watch much TV, but will watch and tape Stand Up To Cancer this Friday evening.

Please be a part of it, join the community, invite others. Be part of The Stand.