Reflecting on the influence of family, friendship

Amy Brediger's parents, Marybeth and Bill Hackenberg. Photo by Tess Smith Photography

Is all my writing worth it?

I recognize that seeing the same message every two weeks can be boring. I am sure it gets brushed over at times, considering everyone is tired of people asking for help, money, volunteers, etc. So I reflect this week on whether it is worth the time at my computer trying to be clever and make each article funny, informative, truthful and short.  

Something amazing happened recently to confirm that it is all worth it. It was a random phone call from a gentleman stating that he was not calling for the reasons that I originally hoped – helping, donating or volunteering – he simply wanted a few minutes of my time to explain his situation. Immediately I called back, intrigued. 

Turns out, my Observer articles are not wasted. A person who grew up in my dad’s old neighborhood called to confirm that he indeed grew up down the street from him and knew many of the same people. In fact, my mom’s parents were best friends with this gentleman’s parents. Long story short, my dad called him back and had an hour-long conversation sharing old memories, fun times and old friends, with the hope of a face-to-face meeting this New Year. 

So I will keep up the articles trusting that good will come of the effort, however it manifests. It is not all about the money and fundraising. It’s about friends, family and support. I have learned a lot while working on Relay for Life and these lessons really help me keep my courage to beg, plead and even cry when I have meetings. I know that all my hard work is for my dad, and for everyone who is touched by this horrible disease. This is an off-the-cuff article, giving you time to reflect on the influence of friendship and family in this New Year.

We learned from a Jan. 3 scan at the Cleveland Clinic that my dad’s cancer is no longer treatable with chemo and we are now only hopeful that palliative care will make him comfortable. With that in mind, I am grateful that I learned the biggest lesson of all – love your spouse, love your kids, love your grandchildren and hug them all everyday. These are words from my dad and I plan to live by them. He is the smartest man I know.

Our journey is not over, and it will get more difficult. So I intend to keep begging, pleading and bothering you all for months to come. But today, just love. Remember that it only takes two seconds to tell someone you love them. 

The next Westlake Relay for Life meeting is Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westlake Rec Center. Please join us, and visit for more information.

Amy Brediger

I am a wife, mother of 2, and a supporter of the Westlake community.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:23 AM, 01.08.2013