“Ohhhhhhhh!!! Let’s do pink tablecloths!”
And then, “YES! Oh my gosh!! Let’s have everyone wear PINK! We can have pink cookies and pink champagne!”
Followed by, “That’s perfect! We can get people to donate things too! Then we can have an auction!”
And of course, “What will you wear?? I’m going to rent a fab dress from Rent the Runway and buy a new pair of pink shoes!”
“Well I’M going to buy a whole new outfit! This will be so much FUN!!”
And on it went. We made our plans. We brainstormed on how to get people to actually want to come to our little gala. We bought pink goody bags and found “pink ribbon” stickers to put on the goody bags, we contacted as many people as we could to ask for donations. We talked incessantly about it all.
What we didn’t really ever talk about was why we were doing it in the first place.
I messaged a most beautiful and lovely survivor, Natalie, that we filmed and photographed to help share her story. I told her she should come! What fun it would be! Pink! Pink! Pink!!
And then I received this message back….
“I wasn’t sure if I would have time to find something to wear to this gala but I thought it may be cool if I would honor one of my old pink scarves. Maybe I could wear it with just a simple black dress. I pulled them out and a flood of memories brought tears to my eyes.
I put a pink polka dot one on and my eyes teared up some more as I remembered wearing it tied on my head. I pulled out a pink necklace that a good friend gave me and as I put it on, noticed my port scar and got a lump in my throat. I found another pink scarf and placed in my hair and cried as I saw a head of hair that was once bald. I pulled out a bracelet that someone gave me that wasn’t really my taste. At the time it was given to me I thought I would probably never actually wear it. When I put it on I thought how perfect it was with the outfit that I threw together and remembered that at least 10 different people had given me bracelets, so I pulled those out as well. By now I’m sobbing because memories and memories of all of the love I was shown came rushing back.
So I’ll be at your gala…to wear my scarves again. This time they won’t be covering my head. I will come and show off my shiny new hair that I thought may never return. And those bracelets will be coming as well to thank all of those random angels that gave them to me.”
And I stopped dead in my tracks. I mean, I couldn’t even get through what she wrote without bawling my eyes out and I wanted to read it to John but I had to keep stopping and finally I just had to quit for a while till I could compose myself.
I was not a little too ashamed of myself in that moment. I forgot. I forgot why I was doing this in the first place. I forgot why this month was dedicated to the color pink in the first place. I forgot about all the lives that were attached to this month in such a profound way. I forgot about the survivors and the family and friends of the survivors. I forgot about all of those lovely souls that did not survive, and all of the lives that were forever changed with a hole that cannot ever be closed.
But I am so grateful for the reminder. So, this is my call to you. If you cannot attend my gala, or if you just don’t want to, please consider donating to Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh, or any other organization that works to help eradicate this killer of way too many women.
Remember those that fought and won. Remember those that fought and lost. Remember those that walked beside them and fought for them when they could not fight on their own. Just remember to remember.