Sea of Pink

red ink…

Catching my breathe after a weekend surrounded by pink ink and all of her “pink” sorority sisters who were here in Chicago for a “fanta-bulous” celebration weekend that started with a wonderful dinner, and followed up today with a champagne toast and dessert party at the home of one of her line sisters (thanks Wendy)! Most importantly, I was surrounded by and enveloped in the love that they brought to Barb from every corner of the country – Florida, Seattle, California, and New York – to let her know how much she means to us. It was a little surreal for me, I must admit – like being the only black person in the room for the first time – but quickly I realized that the bond that we shared, our mutual love for pink ink, was the only sisterhood that really mattered this weekend.

We were united in “pink” as we looked together in the face of breast cancer as it has affected one of our own. After hours of talking, laughter and some tears, we paused for a minute to focus everyone on the take home message of the evening that the special tee-shirts designed for the occasion bore – “touch your tatas” (thanks, Carla!). The “goodie bags” for the night contained instructions on how to do a breast self-exam, as well as a solidarity candle that we can all light, wherever we are, to remember this journey and to unite in strength. Conversations were had across the table about how we as women, especially as Black women, need to be sure that we attend to the tatas! We have to find more, and more effective, ways to get the message out about how to take better care of ourselves and each other.

Even while we celebrated Barb this weekend, we were ever mindful of those who are in the midst of struggle right this minute, and even of those in our lives who lost their battle. I had to comfort Barb and remind her that it was o.k. for her to celebrate her journey – to be present in this moment – even as her heart was heavy with worry about her cancer mentor back in Phoenix who is in the hospital.

To allow yourself to be buoyed by the love that surrounds you at a particular moment and to surrender to it — to body surf in it and truly feel it – is as important a message about our health (mental, physical and spiritual) as any that we carried with us this weekend.

My little red boat was honored to be in this beautiful sea of pink this weekend, and I was definitely brought gently and humbly to the shore by the warmth of your sisterhood that knows no boundaries. My best love to all of you for embracing me as your red ink “sister” (thanks for the special bag, Regina!), but most of all for loving my lil sis – who was yours before she was mine . . .

Now that we are all making our way safely back to shore, let’s take this “tata” message to the streets, ladies!

Happy National Survivors’ Day Barb! You are a survivor in every sense of the word – having made through this journey with style, humor, honesty and grace – and have truly earned this celebration! Love you girl!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Gina
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 08:13:03

    Hi Michele with on “L!” It was great to skee wee you oops I mean see you in Chicago. 🙂 Take care, Regina

    Reply

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