It's probably not hard to come up with a list of sights that can move you to tears: a newborn baby, soldiers reunited with their families, a smiling bride and groom.
Here are two more I guarantee will move you: the survivor lap and the luminaria ceremony at a Relay For Life.
Julie Carter's relay team, "The Carter Clan," has been a leader in fundraising at the relay for several years. Her favorite part is the sunset luminaria ceremony.
Relay For Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The luminaria ceremony is a chance to support survivors and those battling cancer. For $10, you can buy an illuminated bag in honor or memory of a loved one. Last year more than 3,000 luminarias graced the field at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, each representing a life affected by cancer.
Julie and David Carter surely will be remembering David's father with a luminaria. He died from lymphoma, inspiring his family to participate in the relay each year.
To raise money, the Carter Clan holds a big yard sale at David's business (Appraisal Associates) in Concord every April. They also seek business sponsors.
But their biggest moneymaker is the barbecue chicken dinner they put on at the relay. David's mother, Ruby, prepares her homemade sauce for the chicken. Every year, Julie said, relay regulars come looking for a plate of chicken with beans and slaw.
Julie said she's not sure how many the Carter Clan will have walking this year - maybe 18 or 20 - depending on who brings a girlfriend.
This year's event will run from 11 a.m. May 15 to 11 a.m. May 16. Most relay participants stay awake throughout; because cancer never sleeps, Julie said, neither do they.
Traditionally, local cancer survivors open the relay by walking the first lap around the track. That will be followed by a survivors' lunch. This year the event has added a second survivors' lap.
At about 6:30 p.m. survivors can take part in a birthday celebration, which will be followed by the second survivors' lap about 7:45 p.m.
Heather Reynolds, local relay coordinator, said she hopes to find at least 1,500 cancer survivors to participate. Besides being honored with lunch and a birthday party, survivors will receive small gift packages.
Cancer survivors who want to participate can register at relay.acsevents.org or call Heather Reynolds, 704-796-5317.
You can buy a luminaria at that Web site. We all have loved ones who have battled cancer. If everyone buys luminarias for everyone they've known with cancer, imagine the strength of the light in the evening sky. It would be an unforgettably moving sight.