Survivors are memorable, too

?For what it?s worth; it?s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There?s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you?ve never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you?re proud of. If you find that you?re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.? ?F. Scott Fitzgerald

DJs getting the crowd on their feet, 800-plus people hanging out in clusters, throwing out fist-bumps and high fives and lip syncing whatever songs are spilling out of the giant speakers. And a token few in the corner waving their hands in the air like they don?t care.

And a lot of references to butts.

Yes, I finally figured out where the cool kids hang out. A colorectal cancer awareness 5K fun run. Who knew?

If you?ve been to a fun run, you know how upbeat the atmosphere can be. Whether walking or jogging it (or sprinting for an elite few,) it?s the kind of thing that makes you feel good about getting some air and pushing yourself a little. And/or makes you feel incompetent for not training like you obviously should have. (In a still-satisfying way because at least you?re off the couch and got the t-shirt.)

Well, there?s no doubt that this particular evening run, held after a couple-hour downpour in downtown Wichita, raises the bar for ?upbeat.?

But that?s the way it goes. Who inspires more than a survivor? What motivates more than courage? And who is stronger than someone who has walked directly through fire, then booked it straight ahead without looking back at the inferno?

I am blessed to know some of these people, some directly and some indirectly. Cancer survivors among them. But other survivors too and their energy rubs off.

It may be Memorial Day and the flag hanging by my front door.

It may be seeing the lines of American flags in the parks and cemeteries.

It may be the whoops and hollers of the cancer survivors standing in a line at the fun run having their picture taken.

It may be the book I just finished about living in whatever ?little infinity? you are graciously given or the book I?m reading now about the beginning of women?s rights.

Or it could be the Ted talk I watched by a writer named Andrew Solomon about how our worst moments propel us into a future already carved out for us.

I?m sure it?s all the above.

There are some seriously positive vibes floating around if we know where to look. I saw this quote the other day: ?Allow beauty to shatter you regularly. The loveliest people are the ones who have been burnt and broken and torn at the seams, yet still send their open hearts into the world again and again and again.?

These are the ones I am thinking about this Memorial Day. I take full participation in the spirit and reason of the holiday and I fly my flag in appreciation for military service, my dad and other family members among them.

But I also give thanks for the people who live their truths and find ways to show firsthand the three things I am concentrating on this Memorial Day week:

1. Sacrifice matters.

2. Bent isn?t broken.

3. Fortitude trumps pain.

Actually, four things?.

4. Sometimes you just need to wave your hands in the air like you don?t care.