Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino
as i write this, we are more than half way through breast cancer awareness month. pink is the word. pink, that for every other month of the year instinctually calls up my feelings of joy, innocence, carnations, weddings and a luscious pink lipstick or two this month changes hues. now the same pastel pink is the color of passion and power, pride and hope. it is a promise and a prayer wrapped in a ribbon. it is a switch that turns on memories of those we’ve lost from this awful disease from our mothers to daughters to sisters to friends- both women and men. pink is the switch that flicks on a remembrance of struggles in the bodies of all survivors and an awareness and recognition that at any time this disease can occur or reoccur for any one of us. anywhere. cancer is a dark grey cloud that just hangs there.
and then there is pink. we grow up learning that adversity is inevitable in every life. that every cloud has a silver lining. that with loss there is some gain. i have found this to be true in the darkest moments of my life which include losing people i love to cancer. with my greatest losses have always come some unexpected gift. i wouldn’t wish the horrific breast cancer prognosis on anyone or any family. but my dear friend and author, leah komaiko, said it best with the following poem. it is now my pink lining for myself and for those i know personally and love. it is also for the millions of women i know indirectly from my work creating product for philosophy and the millions upon millions of faces i will never see yet know are my own. pray:
that at least one of us sees and trusts her own strength in facing her worst fear.
that at least one of us awakens to the beauty of her body and loves it for the first time in her life.
that at least one of us makes some small change in her diet that can save her life.
that at least one of us has a conversation long avoided where we forgive and ask to be forgiven.
that some of us discover a love that has been there for us all along. And let it in.
that some detach lovingly from someone who may no longer be healthy for their journeys.
that none will blame herself for having this disease or mistake the disease for who she is.
that some may be brought to their knees to God with a new faith, gratitude and willingness.
that we may come to consider the connection between our minds, our body and our spirits.
that we will enjoy every single, simple, precious and gifted moment of our lives.
and that we will share with each other the pink linings. cancer is no gift. but the linings are our lifeline of connection and hope. a friend of mine told me she went to a “thanks for the memories, mammeries” party given for her friend three nights before her second surgery. a once in a lifetime party for sure. you won’t find paper napkins to match the theme. the guests mixed sorrow with silliness and laughter. and on the flip side of the surgery, a celebration. for me, it was my loss of a young woman who left behind her young daughter that inspired me to find my pink lining and initiate she colors my day and the pink crayon to support breast cancer awareness and research funds for the entertainment industry foundation’s women’s cancer research fund and susan g. komen for the cure. i hope you will support this cause and share your pink linings here and with others. this month and every month. until the big cloud of breast cancer can no longer be seen in anybody’s sky.
peace and blessings