You know, the pink ribbon thing has its detractors, for good reason. And if you read the previous post you would conclude I am one of them. There are two sides to every coin, however, and when love and good intention come into play I remember that (as I tell my husband all the time) everything is complex and nothing is as black and white as we want it to be. I am remembering one of the sweetest, kindest things that has ever happened to me, and it involved, yes, a bunch of pink ribbons.
In June I graduated from my year-long medical assisting certificate program. Just before school ended I was diagnosed with metastatic disease. I finished finals while feeling the lovely (not) effects of the first chemo, and waffled about walking with my classmates at graduation, which was also my birthday. I decided to power through the graduation figuring, if nothing else, I would at least try to seem awake and not completely fallen apart for my kids.
I went to school with some amazing women who, unlike me, did full time school, full time work, had young children at home, and muddled through various other challenges to make it to school each day and get the thing done. Shannon is one of these incredible women. She's a single mom, worked a full time job, and completed the certificate. As I walked into the room where we were all gathered to line up and walk into the theater, I noticed that many of my classmates were wearing little pink ribbons pinned on their graduation gowns. Shannon had made them, and was running around making sure all of us had one pinned on. It dawned on me that it was June and not October, and that the pink ribbons were a specific and not a general statement, and that the statement was a show of solidarity and support for me.
I was completely stunned, honored, and proud that night to wear my ribbon and to accept the support of this wildly quirky and diverse group. I will never forget this, and for this reason the pink ribbon has a very special place in my heart.