A sea of survivors, mothers, fathers, little ones, babies in pink slings, children in wagons and teens holding the hands of their mothers and grandmothers walking some 3.1 miles in honor and in memory of those they love turned out to raced and walked together side by side. Yes we were there to make a difference and to raise the battle call but we were also there to remember and to take quiet pause for those we have lost.
For just a moment let me share my own thoughtful insight here with those who may ask how 33, 000 women, men and children wearing pink and all kinds of crazy ensembles can do anything but crowd the streets? Well let me tell you we were not just there to spread awareness or to fundraise for a cure stripping the pockets of everyone in our path. NO, we were there to walk for what could be... a world without the stinging claw of breast cancer. We were there to make a change, to spread our wings and breakaway from the poison of chemo, radiation and death. We were there to embrace those survivors and pay tribute to the fallen among us.
We come every year to walk in the pouring rain, the sweltering heat and humidity. We walk with crazy hats, pink wigs, smiling and somber faces, fresh scares and old ones. We walk for hope and for life, to make our mark and to hold the hands and the hopes of tomorrows generation living inside each one of us.
There is an old Beatles song called Black Bird. The lyrics go like this: " Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise. Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly into the light of the dark black night."
Many through the years have asked the meaning behind this song, well I can tell you in my own life these lyrics apply to my own battle with breast cancer and the reason for why we come together and crowd your streets once a year.You see my friend for so many of us the weight of breast cancer seems to hold an ending we do not want to face, to know or to feel. This is the life we lead without a choice. It is not simple, never easy but this is the one thing I know: Nothing have I ever seen as beautiful as 1, 194 SURVIVORS of BREAST CANCER adored in pink, side by side, embracing, crying, laughing and bringing light into the dark black night together.
So I ask you my friend this month as you see the ads and the pink ribbons spread through out your day take a moment to remember those we have lost and to encourage those men and women who have survived breast cancer. Wear something pink in their honor, take a moment and say a prayer, light a candle for the Pink Warriors still fighting. You need no heavenly sign to embrace those you know who have survived.... just open arms and an open heart.
Nothing has changed my life as Breast Cancer has, but God's grace has led me through each step and each mile. I would never have chosen this path for my life but now that I am here navigating these seas I would not change my course for all the money in the world. I am stronger , deeper and my life has more clarity than I could ever have imagined since 2006 intimately introduced me to a life of Pink Ribbons.
Even though many days the miles have seemed longer than they should I have grown in this life which was chosen for me. My life has been given new meaning and I am better for the men and women I have embraced along this journey. So what do you say? Will you jump in, take my hand and take this leap of hope with me? As for me, well I will continue to dance, to walk and to crowd downtown Houston's streets turning the streets pink for as long as I am given breath to do so. So watch out for us during this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and every other month in between for as Josephine Hart says, "Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive."