What could possibly draw me out of my blogging break?
I wish it was the Gopher’s recent sweep over reigning National Champs, the UMD Bulldogs (at Amsoil!). Or the fall weather that I’ve enjoyed running in. Or that hockey is back on Versus. Or the fact that I’ve baked and cooked quite a bit lately. Or my incredibly exciting upcoming trip.
September told me that my October was going to be insane. And I told October to bring it on.
I have always been a fan of October. For the reasons listed above, I have always looked forward to the month with its falling leaves, pumpkins, and hockey.
And this October was no exception.
The leaves peaked. They have fallen and danced around my Mizuno’s; crunching and crackling as I pound the pavement.
The pumpkins are bright and orange. They have been selected and designs have been drafted.
The NHL and college hockey seasons have begun. Games have been won by favorite teams with hopes of winning seasons.
A wonderful month. Just like always.
Except. This October is not all bonfires and apple cider. This October is not all orange, merry, and bright. Because this October I am seeing things – all the things I love about October – in a different light. Through a different lens.
A pink lens.
And I don’t even really like the color pink.
But on October 6, a day when I should have been thinking about NHL games, I was thinking about the color pink.
Shortly before noon on that sun-shiny Thursday, I was driving back to the office from an off-site meeting. I was drafting e-mails in my head, preparing for the busyness of the afternoon when my phone vibrated and flashed a familiar name on the caller ID.
I turned down the radio, a peppy-upbeat song piping positive thoughts into my car and and heard these words, “it’s breast cancer.”
Maybe you’ve heard those words on the other end of a cell phone. Maybe you’ve heard those words in a doctor’s office.
Maybe you’ve delivered those words in a cell phone conversation. Maybe you’ve delivered those words in a white coat in your office.
Maybe you thought you were prepared to hear those words; to deliver the message. But let’s be honest, no one’s truly prepared for those words.
In the moments and hours following that short phone conversation, hearing those words that I was not prepared for, I went about my day as normal as possible. I’m not sure if I was trying to be strong for her. Or if I was trying to process the words I’d just heard. Part of me thinks that I was in denial; yet there was no denying the results.
Since that day, all I can see is the color pink. It graces the lids of yogurt containers. There are pink notebooks, pens, mugs, shirts, and every other novelty item you can brand and logo with ribbons of awareness. Every celebrity and do-gooder is decked out in pink promoting its presence and prevelance. Even coffee shops blush with pink in the month of October – Caribou has breast cancer coffee. Dunn Bros. has breast cancer cups. Even the post office has breast cancer stamps.
Pink. It is anywhere and everywhere.
But unlike the hue that stands for everything breast cancer, things are not all perky pink for the women walking the road marked “breast cancer.”
In this month of fall leaves, pumpkins, and hockey, the thing I am most obsessed with is the color pink. Previous Octobers have come and gone and I have never acknowledged the color pink. But this October is different. This October I have to promote it.
Because maybe if i embrace the girly color, I can feel like I’m doing my part to help the women and families forever changed because of two simple words: breast cancer.
Including my own mom. Including my own family.
So, the answer to why I came back from my blogging break?
Not fall leaves. Not pumpkins. Not my big trip. Not hockey.
Just breast cancer.
My mom’s breast cancer.