Celebrating Life and Liberty: Year Two

Today, my sister and thousands of other cancer survivors were feted at a celebration of Life and Liberty at Liberty State Park hosted by the John Theurer Cancer Center of Hackensack University Medical Center.  This was our second year of attendance and thankfully, my sister is feeling good.

In addition to celebrating the patients, their families and caretakers are also recognized at this event.  There was great food, terrific raffle prizes, and a special performance by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Mom has long been an R&B fan and I was raised on Marvin, Stevie, The Temptations, and all the other greats who came out of Motown and Philly.  Dad tends toward the hippy/Woodstock stuff, so I have an appreciation for that, too.  But to see Aretha Franklin in concert in such a small, personal venue?  It was unbelievable.

I stood 15 feet from the Queen as she belted out a medley of hits, including Chain of Fools, Natural Woman, and Respect.  She kicked things off with a cover of a classic Jackie Wilson song from 1967, (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.  Aretha Franklin actually points at me during the clip!

CLICK HERE to see my 60 second clip of Aretha Franklin performing Higher and Higher.

Thank you so much to all the staff, doctors, and people who made this day such a success!  Most importantly, thanks to the anonymous bone marrow donor for giving my sister the gift of life.


  • At 2012.10.01 06:35, bermudaonion(Kathy) said:

    What a wonderful event. I have tears in my eyes from reading your post. I would have freaked to have seen Aretha Franklin like that!
    bermudaonion(Kathy)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday

    • At 2012.10.01 16:14, Meg said:

      Your sister looks gorgeous, and your nephew’s smile says it all. So happy to hear she’s feeling well and you had a good time at the event. Plus, Aretha?! So close? Absolutely amazing! xoxo
      Meg´s last blog post ..Full moon

      • At 2012.10.01 17:13, Ti said:

        Your sis looks great!! So happy that she is doing well. Nice to “hear” from you as well.
        Ti´s last blog post ..The Sunday Salon: Recovery

        • At 2012.10.01 21:19, softdrink said:

          Both Aretha and your sister look fabulous! That had to have been something to hear her perform.
          softdrink´s last blog post ..Banned Books Week

          • At 2012.10.01 22:15, Lisa said:

            Congratulations to your sister, your survivor! What a wonderful, incredible way to celebrate life.
            Lisa´s last blog post ..Fright-Fall Readathon

            • At 2012.10.02 16:43, Jenners said:

              This warmed my heart! What an awesome way to celebrate such a good thing … and Aretha pointed at you!! YOU!
              Jenners´s last blog post ..Super Looper Weekend

              • At 2012.10.03 08:18, Beth F said:

                Loved hearing this good news. What a celebration.
                Beth F´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday 205

                • At 2012.10.07 19:29, Christy said:

                  Love love love!!!

                  Jess looks beautiful and her hair seems to be returning more to its old color and texture – looks just like your nephew’s, at least in the pic. Can’t believe you got serenaded by the queen of soul! Wowza babe. That’s fantastic.

                  Lots of love to you and the fam. So happy to read this post!


                  (Required, will not be published)

                  CommentLuv badge